I Once Met a Man with a Degree in Death

November 7
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My wife had an interesting encounter in a coffee shop recently that reminded our family that not everyone thinks all lives are worth fighting for.

Here is her story:

Our daughter Stephanie and I like to go out for coffee. It makes for great mother-daughter time and we often go to a coffee shop nestled inside a bookstore.  That’s a win/win for us. However, sometimes things come up that you do not expect. This was one of those occasions.

One of these “coffee dates” found us hunting for a table, because it was particularly crowded that day. We found a table and shortly thereafter a young man dressed in all black approached the table and sat down next to us.  Oh well, I thought, I guess it can’t hurt to be sociable, and space is limited after all.  We struck up a pleasant conversation, but then things took a disturbing turn.

He told me how he currently worked as a store clerk, but that he wanted a different job.  He then went on to explain with enthusiasm that he had a college degree in death/dying and that he wanted to work in a retirement community to see death up close.  I could feel my skin crawl.  He even tried to tell me that Alzheimer’s patients have lucid moments in which they can request death and understand what they are doing.  I was upset and angry by then.  My mother-in-law, a beautiful Christian woman, had died of Alzheimer’s. From my experience, nothing could be further from the truth.

I figured at this point I had three options: simply leave, tell him in an emotional way how I really felt about what he wanted to do, or pray and try to calmly speak truth into the situation.  Thankfully I chose the latter.

I paused, prayed, and then spoke.  I told him of my experience and how I knew that in my mother-in-law’s situation, his theory did not hold water.  From our interactions with her, we could tell that even in her most lucid moments, there was no way she could comprehend such a choice.  I followed it up with saying that therefore I did not believe his hypothesis at all.

I went on to say that as a Christian I could not agree with what he wanted to do.  God gives life and we should choose life.  I then used a quote from The Lord of the Rings (something he might give more credibility than the Bible!) where Gandalf says, “Can you give life?…Then don’t be so quick to take it.”

The young man just stared at me, in a bit of shock.  I then excused us, and we left.  Stephanie and I went into the bookstore and found a quiet place to talk and pray over it.  Most of all we prayed for this young man’s soul and that God would thwart any attempts he made to fulfill his dream.  After all, all life should be cherished.


As my wife Ruth so vividly describes, our culture has rapidly devalued human life and has in many ways become a culture of death. Abortion, infanticide, physician assisted suicide, and the list goes on. But we at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® join you in recognizing God’s gift of life as well as the hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Do not be discouraged my friends. We will fight beside you to help transform our culture into one that honors God, protects religious freedom, ensures families thrive, and cherishes life from conception to natural death. Thank you for joining us in praying for our country and state, responding when we ask for your active participation, and financially supporting our fight for life and other values you hold dear. You are a point of light in what can often seem like a very dark society, but you are not alone.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director