He was a young man, and I could see fear in his eyes as he gripped the railings of the bed and struggled to breathe, sucking in heavily through the plastic mask feeding him oxygen. His body was wasting away from cancer, and the infections that had crept into his lungs were now forcing every compensatory mechanism into extremis. He wanted to fight and live, but there was little left for the ICU to offer. I had been pleading with him for days to consider hospice and a more peaceable passing at home where he could be surrounded by family and friends, but to him that meant giving up.
So we had continued to do everything, and as predicted we eventually came to that point where every biomarker and technological parameter heralded physiologic disaster. “Your breathing cannot hold on its own. We will need to intubate you soon, but your body is so sick that we will probably never be able to take the breathing tube out.” I paused. We had had this conversation before. “Do you still want us to do it? I need to tell you the truth; you will almost certainly die either way. If we transition you to hospice, you can go home and pass away with your family and friends, and we will make sure that you are comfortable. But if you still want us to do everything – intubation, CPR, shocks – you will still die, but it will be here in this hospital, and it will be brutal. Do you want us to intubate you? Do you want CPR?” He nodded vigorously, still afraid, still adamant.
He was intubated. Continue Reading…
The Marks of a Christian Teacher: A Vocational Description (Part Three)
Mark Eckel, ThM PhD, Professor of Leadership, Education & Discipleship
Capital Seminary & Graduate School, Washington, D.C.
By guiding attention we take in our hands the key
to the formation and the development of personality and character. — Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky
My first stint as an educator was chosen by a four letter word: time.
My training was in pastoral studies. But I was being offered a position as a high school teacher in a Christian school. Should I become a teacher, something for which I was not trained? I made my decision based on time.
I asked myself how much influence could I have within a certain amount of time? Teaching five times a week for 45 minutes a day over 180 days a year equals 135 hours per year.
But discipleship was the key to my decision. Continue Reading…