Tiny Lives

It is so much easier to believe in God. Everything makes sense when set against the backdrop of infinity. We want the plan God has for us, we need its order to make sense of the chaos that is life. God gives reason to everything that happens, including the senseless things like death. Especially death.

Our two kittens, B.J. and Speedy turned a month old three days ago. Yesterday, within 12 hours of each other, they were dead. We held them in our hands while they expired, listening to the tiny, agonized mews of their last breaths. We did everything we could, but in the end, who can argue with death? It was genetic, a defect of their bodies, a simple fact of their existence. That’s all their tiny lives amounted to. They were born to die.

Last night, I held B.J. for hours as he slipped away, sobbing quietly, pleading with him to just keep breathing. I almost prayed. I did pray, in the formless way that oncoming grief makes us all beg with God whether we believe he’s there or not. Not a sparrow falls, right? And B.J. was just about the right size to pass for a sparrow. He’s not passing for anything now.

Being a Christian is easy. You have an answer for everything. You’re a small cog in the larger mechanical operation of a universe being cranked by an all-knowing hand. Even though you can’t see the reason, you know there is one. Nothing is pointless. It takes a lot of strength to look at the world, know that there is no real reason for anything beyond the here and now, and still want to wake up in the morning. When we end, we end and that’s all. We cannot make ourselves immortal simply by wishing it. But when our tiny little lives come to an end, when we’re faced with just how miniscule we are, I understand why we want to be comforted. I want it, too.


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