“I’m just tired of suffering.” These are the words of a person known as “Lois” in Canada who underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2009. The aftermath of the surgery has been nothing short of horrific for Lois who has had great difficulty in receiving medical care as a person who has “transitioned.”
Not only has Lois faced physical turmoil, post-surgery, but mental distress has added great suffering. Lois is one of a growing community of those who were told gender reassignment surgery would solve problems, when in reality, it only created many more.
Sadly, the story gets worse. In Canada, those experiencing suffering, can apply for MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying), what we call euthanasia. Officially, this is reserved for those with terminal diagnoses, but the government is willing to interview those who do not fit that criteria. Lois hopes to receive government authorization to take the death pill and end the years of pain.
Francis Schaeffer said, “The devil never gives us the luxury of fighting only on one front.” The story of Lois highlights transgender issues, mental illness and euthanasia. Each of these issues are complicated and complex. They all relate back to the same Christian doctrine, the Imago Dei.
Every person is made in the Image of God. Everyone has inherent dignity that cannot be taken away. This is why Francis Schaeffer said there are no little people. No other creature is made in God’s image. This doctrine is our basis for being a people who are pro-life. The baby in the womb deserves life because he or she is made in the image of God.
Our recognition of dignity does not end at birth. We are pro-life “from womb to tomb.” That includes supporting adoption and foster care, so that once a baby is born, he or she can grow up in a family the way that God designed.
But it also includes that transgender person who realizes that transition was a mistake, like Laura Perry, whose story has been told in the Baptist Messenger of going from being “Transgender to Transformed.” It includes that person who is contemplating euthanasia. It includes the person whose anxiety makes it hard to breathe at times. Being truly pro-life means recognizing the God-given dignity of every person, but it doesn’t end there.
To anyone wanting to end suffering, the answer is not death. The answer is not surgery, and it is not government-sanctioned suicide. The answer is found in a God who came in flesh to save men and women out of their sin and suffering. The answer is, has always been, and will always be Jesus Christ.
He said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). The suffering and tired need the rest that only Jesus can provide. But they also need the community that only a family, the church, can provide.
Our polarized society would lead us to see people as “other,” worthy of passing by. Jesus calls us to step into the mess of hurt and pain and offer life, just as He did for us.