What determines if a life is worth living? For many of us, when suffering significantly decreases our quality of life, we decide not to take measures to prolong the pain and discomfort. But there are some people who seem to live whole lives of immeasurable suffering. We’ve all seen people with physical or environmental or other challenges. We wonder about these people, about how and why they go on in the face of such suffering.
It occurs to me that perhaps the only difference between me and someone devoid of the hope, support, and means to cope with life is that I have a great Mom and Dad. I have parents that accepted and believed in me despite the obvious challenges my disability presents. Sometimes in the face of limitations, people are presented with further rejection and discouragement that robs them of the resources they need to have hope. Some people have distant, rejecting siblings.
I don’t. I have a brother who will loan me money to get my wisdom teeth out, who will drive for an hour to put furniture together for me, and will make that hour long trip in substantially faster time when I’m in the emergency room and need someone to help me home.
So I was thinking a lot about this suffering thing when I saw The Nativity tonight. Seeing the familiar story presented in a different manner gave me some new perspectives to think about. I felt a sense of hope and joy as I watched Jesus’ birth portrayed. Perhaps this touched me because I needed that so much today. The hope was immediately contrasted with the realization that suffering was the entire purpose, the intention, the meaning of Christ’s life. He suffered the ultimate suffering so we would not have to.
that I do not need to rely on my suffering for redemption
my periwinkle bedroom walls
my dolls from Nell
forecasts of rain in Dec
angels among us
The Princess Bride
the new Staples opening up down the street
Christmas shopping via the internet