Friday, October 31, 2008

Where is God?

This evening, I had to take a movie back, and I ended up stocking up on the flipside. Among others, one of the movies I impulse-rented was The Bridge, a 2006 documentary on the phenomenon of suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The film maker staked out the bridge for ages, and actually recorded several abortive and successful suicides from the bridge. The victims are all known, and in four or five cases, their friends and families consented to be interviewed for the purposes of the film. One very dramatic sequence is told by a young man who actually jumped, realized at that moment he did not want to die, and managed to survive the fall; and though he has struggled with his illness since then, that realization changed his life.

At the end, the film mentions that 24 people committed suicide in 2004 by jumping from the, and lists their names and the dates upon which they died.

I had a friend in Texas in his mid-20s who was diagnosed in 2002 with a soft tissue sarcoma. He successfully fought it off and was in remission by the spring of 2003. But by October, with dread, he felt the same pains in his side. His second struggle was not successful, and he died in June, 2004, the same year as all these people. My friend yearned to live and suffered through pain I don't even want to imagine. And yet other people are driven to relinquish life so willingly.

Where is God in all of this? How can these diametrically-opposed poles possibly define the "plan" of a Being who cares for us above all? Say what you want; there's no getting around this. If God exists, He chose this for us, freely, in full knowledge and conscience.

One way or the other, God or no God, I think we're on our own.

1 comment:

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