A child lying on the operating table suddenly stopped the anesthesiologist as he began to prepare her for a surgery she had endured many times before. “Wait!” she cried. “I need to tell you something.”
Relieved that her cry had not been one of pain, the young doctor stopped what he was doing and waited.
“I may not live through the surgery this time,” the child said with an attitude of wisdom beyond her eight years. “I don’t want you to blame yourself. I’ll be okay. I’ll be in Heaven with Jesus.” Then after a long pause, full of emotion for the physician, she added, “You can go ahead now.”
A few hours later the child was in Heaven with Jesus. Back on earth the devastated doctor wanted to find the source of strength which had so remarkably sustained the child, and he ultimately found it in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The value of a life is not measured in time but in eternity. The Bible says: “… one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (II Peter 3:8) It is therefore impossible to gauge the value of a human life by the estimated number of remaining years or its presumed quality of life, only God knows the value of His creation.
I am writing this article because some of you have at some time shown an interest in my books or have exhibited a particular interest in a book, LIFE ON THE LINE, I first published with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1989 and at a later date published in an updated edition with Tyndale. Others of you have seemed to have a commitment to life and its value at all stages, very young and very old. A few of you played a vital part in this book when it was first written 28 years ago. For that I thank you once again. Some, like Congressman Henry Hyde, Senate Chaplin Richard Halverson, and Ruth Bell Graham, are no longer with us, but they still support us by all they stood for.
A while ago it seemed appropriate to reissue LIFE ON THE LINE once again because of the times in which we live, using the 1992 edition, with an added introduction and an updated bibliography, in order to show how much some of the medical issues warned about, like rationing and medicalized killing, have begun to happen. Why do this now? Because perhaps we have not yet gone too far to stop. Perhaps it is not yet too late to turn back, at least in America. Perhaps we can yet remain the land of the free and the home of the brave.
This edition of LIFE ON THE LINE is offered on Kindle only. To find the book click on the hyperlink or just go into Amazon, specifically the Kindle store. Type in Elizabeth Skoglund. Several books including LIFE ON THE LINE will appear. For those of you who have not discovered the value of digital books, let me just say that after several eye surgeries I have had difficulty reading more than a few pages at a time. Then I tried Kindle, using a free App on my smartphone. Kindle is also available free for use on most computers. I eventually purchased a Kindle from Amazon. With any form of Kindle I can go back to my previous habit of reading as long as I want without my eyes giving out.
I still love books, real books, and will always have them around me. I still read real books, although more slowly. But digital books have fonts that can be altered; they are more portable; they can be marked and underlined; and they are cheap. Please give this mode of reading a try with LIFE ON THE LINE. Above all as you read this book take a hard look at the potential for good and evil which is inherent in any changes to a health care system.