Sunday, October 23, 2011

Story from the 10:15 AM service

THE call came around 3:30 p.m. on a sultry Minnesota day. The hospice social worker, Cheryl, explained the situation in a rush. She had tried 15 judges, and all were either in court or otherwise unavailable. By chance, she had reached me directly.
This is a short excerpt from the NY Times story - Making a Judgment on Love By LLOYD ZIMMERMAN

I used this story as a way for us to think about the Gospel reading: two greatest commandments: Love God, Love others as yourself.

Another excerpt:

Thinking of my father, I made a few legal inquiries, verifying that Thomas and Donna had completed a wedding license certificate, that the family supported the wedding and it was not a ruse to divert an inheritance, and that the humanitarian nature of the wedding was real and true.

It would all have to be done by phone, and it would have to be fast.

The moment that Donna heard the news, Cheryl later told me, she rushed to put on a wedding dress that she had been saving for years.

Witnessed on their end by a hospice chaplain and the bride and the bridegroom’s family, who encircled Thomas’s bed, the couple were placed under oath. Acting in the place of the wedding license registrar, I swore them to the truth of all of the statements on their license application. Donna swore to the truth and signed the application. Thomas swore to the truth by squeezing the hospice worker’s finger “yes” and signed an “X.”

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