Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Life is Not Fair. Look Ahead.
Life is not fair. I wish it was, and that prayer and positive thinking could always make good things happen. But it just doesn't work this way and it has actually been ministry in Christ's church that has convinced me of this. I have seen many good and faithful people struggle with hard times, suffer, even die prematurely.
I have also had my faith strengthened by the courage lots of them demonstrate, and their refusal to descend into pity or anger at God. I don't understand the reasons or the outcomes, but I have been blessed and honoured to be a being a companion of those who move through the valley of the shadow of death with a strong sense of God's presence.
It sure seems as though life was unfair to Jack Layton. A number of friends and pundits are saying so, and how can we deny it? The guy didn't let cancer or surgery deter him in his goal to make the NDP a strong political party in this country and it looked as though his perserverence paid off. And for decades he has been a voice for the voiceless. You didn't have to share his politics to realize Canada needed Jack Layton as a social conscience.
But a new cancer creeps into his body and mere months after his political triumph he succumbs to death. As Julia, a mentally and physically challenged adult once said to me after the death of a friend and housemate: "dying sucks!'
Jack may have felt that the return of cancer was an unfair blow. But he left this life encouraging others; the sick, the young, those who want to make a difference through politics. Incredibly dignified, and those final words have grabbed my emotions repeatedly:
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.