These days I think about the fragility of life a great deal. With Brian's death, the recent attacks in Mumbai and my own life-threatening experience of 5 years ago there are plenty of obvious places to remember the precious nature of human life. This says nothing of the countless millions of people who's lives go largely unnoticed as they face death every day through no fault of their own, but have been caught in political, cultural and economic systems which make longevity of life the exception and not the norm.
Now this is not anything that we all have not struggled with when it comes to death in our world. Some of us turn away in avoidance and disbelief while some of us dive in and go directly to places of pain. I think most of us just try to cope: cope with the overwhelming nature of people who struggle for life every day, cope with the seeming inability for us to affect change and cope with the very things we must give up in order to bring some kind of healing to one with whom the only thing we share is our humanity.
These are natural reactions and I think honest ones. But then what? What do we do? How do we affect change and bring/save/honor life? While there are plenty of tactical and strategic things we can do, one of the first things we must do is simple acknowledge the very precious nature of life.
I don't think we do that enough.
Human beings are a hearty lot, most of us usually power through sickness and struggle and so at some level I think we often blame the afflicted for causing their afflictions . . . even their own deaths. This is a dangerous place to stand and a place that flies in the face of God's amazing spirit of life and breath that is gifted to us every day. Sure, there will be times that we do need to power through struggle because most things will NOT kills us, but those times should not drive us, the fragility and gift of God's life given is what drives us.
Life is fragile, yet God's strength to care for that life is not.