Lost Souls

Did you read that the Oregon State Hospital was closed? It was a mental institution and happened to be where the movie, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was filmed. I guess politicians had been talking for years about the need to replace it, amid complaints of overcrowding, crumbling floors, and sexual abuse of children by staff members. But what finally convinced them was a tour of the facility in 2004 where they found … the cremated remains of 3,600 mental patients in corroding copper canisters in a storage room. The remains belonged to patients who died at the hospital from the late 1880’s to the mid-1970’s.

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney dubbed the chamber “the room of lost souls.” Courtney added that seeing the urns “created such an emotional momentum” for replacing the hospital.

It’s too bad they had to see the remains of dead people to inspire them to change. Maybe they should have cared enough about the living to do something to improve their lives while they were here?

And so what about us? I wonder if someday when we get to Heaven we’ll get to see “the room of lost souls.” If so, I’m sure it will create in us an “emotional momentum” to share Jesus with those people, but unfortunately it will be too late. Maybe we should care enough about the living to do something now to improve their eternities while they’re still here?


  1. Travis Thompson on July 17, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    That, my friend, is a powerful image.