Weekend Wanderer

The Book Thief

Today’s post is a bit of a departure. I planned on writing a sunny tale of friendships made in Phoenix, but some shocking news about a friend set me back. My heart is alternating between my heart and my stomach as his life hangs in the balance. This draft seemed appropriate.

“The Book Thief”

Set in WWII, it didn’t focus on the gruesome nature of war as much as it did on the humanity of the people in it, namely a girl who changed the lives of those around her.

It dealt with the stark reality of losing someone you love, and of facing death as a natural part of life.

We’ve been so conditioned to view ourselves as immortal, untouchable even, that we forget how easily life slips through our fingertips.

Sometimes it’s as it is as smooth and comforting as a silk garment, others as forceful as shattering something priceless. Though we know it’s futile, in our agony we defy logic and try to piece it back together, try to restore what was lost.

I’ve always known death didn’t play favorites, but this movie really shook me. It reminded me that even the ones I love, the ones I root for, aren’t safe. 

Each victim that died was a well-developed character, a beautifully simple hero that lived and loved with quiet passion. That’s what resonates the most with me – they could have been my parents, neighbors, coworkers.

It could have been me.

They touched my heart because they spoke its language, mirrored its purest truths. 

Life is so precious, and I’ve turned away from a reality too bright to acknowledge for too long. It feels as though my heart has been ripped open, or maybe it is the calloused shell that’s been slowly surrounding it, numbing my senses to all true emotion.

It’s cathartic to feel the tears of true emotion well from the deep recesses of a heart that’s almost forgotten what it is to feel so strongly.

How often do I go through my day not seeing or caring for those around me?

Those simple, genuine people who share their precious life with me? I don’t want to wait for inevitable death to bestow value upon them. As flawed and weak as we are, we are all still part of the intricate fabric of human existence.

We still touch lives and influence people by who we are. God designed us for companionship and love, and it seems that those two qualities are never on so great a display as in the face of death.

May we stop waiting so long to be generous with our emotions!

May we stop judging one another for feeling too deeply, loving too strongly, or crying too openly.

It’s time we throw off the façade of independent “strength,” and face the reality that we need every frustrating, illogical, demanding, wonderful soul we come in contact with to make our life complete.

We cannot survive alone, and the beautiful fact is that we don’t have too. 

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