"I hate my life!"
How many times have you heard that, either in real life, or on TV or at the movies?
Usually the person saying it is a discontented teenager with privileges out the wazoo, but because one thing goes wrong - usually it;s looks or romance - life is something to be hated.
And if your mate's dying, you may well say to yourself..."YOU hate your life? Wanna trade?"
And the person you love, who is dying, might even more be expected to partake of that sentiment.
What we're really saying, though, hating our lives, is that a part of that life...granted, an important part...is broken.
It looks like it can't be fixed, so we want to scrap the whole thing. Kind of like the person whose pride in his new car is ruined by the first scratch...and afterwards, he doesn't care and stops taking care of the thing. (Nothing wrong with pride in a new car, in case you were wondering...remember, if you're a Christian, that is Luke 5:39 Jesus says that no one would want new wine after drinking old wine...new and old are kind of reversed here, but you get my drift...I hope.)
Where were we, after having the wine? Oh, right. Cars.
The problem is that brokenness spoils our concept, and our perception of perfection. We want a perfect life (and advertisers pay good money to convince us to want one). So when our lives break, either in our own bodies or in having to suddenly care for someone who's dying, there's a part of us that hates it, and hates the life that it colours.
(For what follows, please understand that I am a Christian, but this would apply for a Muslim, a Buddhist, or a Hindu as well (I've read the Qu'ran and the Gita, so I feel OK saying that).
Hating is understandable. Understandable, but wrong, because we are broken.
We fall way short of what we're supposed to be, every day. We claim holiness, but the next minute we're down in the mud, and a part of us is reveling in it.
We profess faith, but when things go wrong we wonder if God actually hates us...or if He's merely disinterested...or if He's even there.
We're broken, but however far we fall, He loves us anyway. "For God so loved the world that he sent His only begotten Son..."
Not "the part of the world that's doing OK". The World. The whole enchilada.
And that, writ large, is what we're supposed to do. Love our lives.
We're not supposed to love everything in it. I mean, awhile back I heard someone say that her father's terminal cancer was the best thing that ever happened to her family.
Sorry, but that's a stupid thing to say. You don't love cancer. You just don't.
But you can love the opportunities that cancer gives you. You can love the clarity of appreciation, that you don't walk by the delicate blooming flower, or the shy smile of a child, without a glance.
You can love much of the rest of your life. Or just a little, if things are really horrible.
But love something, even if it's broken.
Because God loves you.
Even if you're broken.