Sunday, January 25, 2009

Prayers For Bobby

I just finished watching the Lifetime Network movie, Prayers For Bobby, and I wanted to share a few thoughts about it:

When your life hurts so much, when you feel as if you have to spend nearly every moment fighting your own heart, when you come to realize that all you’ve ever known as truth has been a lie, when you lose all joy in life and in living, when you have become disconnected from the world around you & you feel like an outcast amongst people who used to love you, it’s understandable to want to find a way out of all of it, and it’s tempting to think that stopping a barely-beating heart—especially an “obviously” faulty heart—is the answer. What of worth could possibly be lost when you are made to feel that there is no value in the mis-creation you’ve become anyway? No matter what your view of a possible afterlife or lack thereof, sometimes some of us come to believe that nothing--NOTHING--could be worse than the shadow of a life we’re living now.

If it is the most basic, human part of our being that holds us here & gives us any sort of reason to believe that it can get better somehow, it is the de-humanization we experience when WHO we are is reduced to WHAT OTHERS THINK WE ARE that can rip it all away, leaving us with nothing to hope for, and ultimately severing the last tether that binds us to the temporal realm. With nothing of substance keeping us here, we start to wonder why we bother at all.

It’s not an excuse for giving up & for ending a life too painful to keep enduring, but it is the reason we oftentimes believe we have no other choice. In the near poetic search for surcease of sorrow, however it can be realized, too many who cannot continue to face a life where they have been made to feel as if they don’t belong, accept what their worn-out hearts see as the only & ultimate solution. In the haze of the ruins of their beyond-sad existence & in a formerly-familiar world woefully unkind to strangers, tragically, some see certain death as preferable to a constantly uncertain so-called “life”. It doesn’t make it the “right thing to do,” but—sometimes for some of us, numbed to reality & left with what we believe is no other choice—ending the nothingness of life seems the only way to finally break free from the lies, and the shame, and the pain.

Then there are people like me: people who had just enough of the Old Time Religion in their upbringing to believe in the sin of suicide, or who, believing that constant suffering was simply the stuff of life, just somehow couldn’t bring themselves to do the deed. In many ways, the fate of those who, to paraphrase the poet John Gillespie Magee, Jr., “have slipped the surly bonds of earth” in a desperate attempt to leave behind the darkest corners of life from whence they grew weaker by the moment to “dance the skies…and [touch] the face of God,” are heart-breakingly similar to those of us who chose to stay & suffer, except we only died on the inside, leaving but a shell to stand as a nearly-living testimony that we were once more than the thing “they” have convinced the world—and us—we are.

Either way, breathing or not, we are just as broken…and, though we may not believe it, to God—if not to all who call His name—just as loved…

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