I watched the evening news the other day and saw where a group of local motorcycle enthusiasts were having a Sunday ride to raise money for charity. Despite the bad press that motorcyclists occasionally suffer from, I have found them to generally be a compassionate, caring group of people. My brother, Chris, rode a Harley until his death and it seemed that his motorcycle club was always raising money for kids or veterans. The motorcycle folks are all right. I wonder though, if they are aware of the discriminatory policy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation when it comes to granting kids wishes. The basic premise of Make- a –Wish is a wonderful one: They raise money and resources to grant the wishes of dying children.
Over the years, I have supported Make-A-Wish by buying tickets to raffles, donating a buck or two at a local business, etc. I suspect almost everyone has kicked in a few bucks to Make-A-Wish now and then. Who doesn’t support trying to grant the wishes of terminally ill children? A few years back, however, I discovered that Make-A-Wish has established filtering criteria to make sure the wishes that grant to dying kids are politically correct wishes. When I first heard of their policy, I thought it must be a giant Internet hoax. I couldn’t believe that anyone would discriminate against dying children. But, on closer examination, I found out that its true. Make -a-Wish will grant the wishes of dying kids, unless they involve going hunting.
My first reaction upon hearing of such politically correct discrimination was one of outrage. I thought to myself, “What kind of sick, self centered, wackos, would deny the wishes of innocent dying kids?” Then reason, kicked in, and I recalled the admonition in Matthew, 7 “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. I haven’t walked a mile in the moccasins of the Make –A –Wish leaders and don’t know why they would grant the wishes of some dying kids but deny the wishes of others. I don’t understand.
It always seemed to me that reasonable people can have reasonable disagreements. A good example that comes to mind is golf. For some reason, I could never fall in love with the game of golf. I’d get coerced into buying tickets to charity golf tournaments, and figured that since I had contributed the money at least I’d go play golf. I was miserable almost the entire time. I couldn’t drive worth a hang, I couldn’t putt, heck I’m not even very good at drinking beer! I’d much rather spend a bright sunny day knee deep in a trout stream or walking a cornfield with a couple buddies in search of pheasants.
I just don’t enjoy golf, and no doubt lots of my acquaintances also don’t enjoy fishing or hunting. But as reasonable people I don’t condemn my golfing friends and they don’t condemn my fishing or hunting. I respect my friends desire to chase a white sphere around a pretty pasture and they respect my desire to cast for fish or shoot pheasants for dinner. Reasonable people can have reasonable disagreements.
Since the Make – A –Wish decision to stop granting hunting trips as wishes to the ill children, several groups have sprung up to provide those wishes. One in particular, stood out. Hunt of a Lifetime was founded by Tina Pattison, whose son Matt had terminal cancer. Matt Pattison’s dream was to go on a moose hunt with his Dad but the cost of a commercial trip was prohibitive. Mrs. Pattison contacted a national group that purports to grant the wishes of dying kids and was told they no longer grant wishes of hunting trips. Refusing to give up on her child’s dream, Mrs. Pattison contacted every hunting outfitter she could think of. Miraculously, one outfitter, responded, and Matt Pattison was able to go on a Hunt of a Lifetime to Alberta, Canada with his Dad. It looked for a time, like he was rallying, but six months later, Matt Pattison joined the Lord. Shortly thereafter Tina Pattison created Hunt of a Lifetime and has been providing hunting and fishing adventures for terminally ill children. It’s an inspiring story of hope and faith and ought to make a great sermon for some enterprising pastor. Check them out at www.huntofalifetime.org.
Who knows? Perhaps the folks at Make –A –Wish will have a blinding revelation someday soon that all of God’s children deserve compassion. In the meantime, whenever someone approaches you to make a contribution to a Make –A –Wish, maybe you might want to write a check to Hunt of a Lifetime instead.
Until Next Week,