Besides the horrors of ISIS, Ebola, and the constant turmoil that is Washington D.C., two other stories have shoved to the front of the line. The first is about a young woman, Brittany Maynard, who is planning to legally take her life in a few weeks, and the other is about Jennifer Lawrence and how she addressed the nude pictures of herself that were shared against her will, saying that in a long distance relationship, either your boyfriend will view you or pornography.
First of all, let me be clear that I have NO IDEA what it must feel like to have terminal brain cancer, facing fears for your family and loved ones, and living with a body that is very much not under your control. And I am very sorry for Laurence and the embarrassment and pain this crime against her has caused. Both of these women seem to be seeking dignity with their lives, and seeking to help others who are having similar struggles. I commend them for that.
In certain articles, both of the stories included the word “Beautiful” in the titles. However, there is an underlying, sad kind of ugliness to them that cannot be masked with the false veil of heroism. The wrapping may be pretty, but the gift is a nightmare.
These stories have a common denominator: they both attempt to answer the question, “What does it mean to be human?” This is one of the BIG questions of life, a catch phrase in my Worldview class, and generally something I tend to throw into conversations only to hear a very loud lull.
But what does it mean to be human? If human life is all about what we want and how we choose to make ourselves happy, then why not end your life early, and why not send nude pictures across your phone or even share those photos with others? And as in the case of Maynard, you might financially help out your family. This could appear like a good choice, the right choice.
We as Americans are people of choice. Don’t you dare take away my choices, fool! This is ‘MURICA. I deserve my “me” time, my Starbucks, and my organic-super-expensive skincare. This is my body, and I can do what I want with it AND with any other life inside of it. So there.
But it doesn’t work that way. It just doesn’t. The truth is that our bodies are not our own. And this makes them infinitely more special than if they were just ours, mere accidents having evolved from oozing muck. Instead, we were purposely formed from the mire, each one of us known by the Creator. Our days are numbered by Him, and our bodies are supposed to be for His glory, not meat for men. God gave us a purpose and a role as unique, choice-making beings. This is what it means to be human.
“Planned dying” could lead the way for other horrors to be legalized or even mandated. These kind of stories tend to have a ripple effect. And you don’t have to show your boyfriend pornography of yourself to keep him. In fact, if he asks, you should certainly lose him…and fast.
Again, my heart goes out to both women. I wish I could tell them that Jesus Christ loves them, and and that there is another way, a better way. His always is.
Keep the Faith,
Photo Credit: Marvelous Things Photography by Tori Watson