Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
BBC Radio Scotland
August 11th, 2010

In the news the other day, we were told that civilian deaths in Afghanistan have risen by 31% over the last year.

That’s 31% of what, exactly - of a big number or a little number?

Even with the numbers, how would we go about adding up the lost potential, the sorrow and the shock? How would we express the breaking of relationships, the weight of such tragedies on families? We can’t.

We’re really only talking here about numbers.

We all get added up. Our lives are periodically of interest to statisticians. We are merely data to somebody out there: How long we live, what we earn or how we spend - how fast we drive past a speed camera. A life converted to a number – a blip – a bit of data.

While it’s somebody’s grim task to measure the quantities, the results don’t tell me much about life and its quality.

You know who you’ve lost, over time. You are aware of the space they inhabited and the character they once added to the conversation and the place they occupied at the table. You remember their stories and can almost hear their voice telling them. You honour them with your memory.

If you’re listening to this, this morning, you’re alive. Your life deserves to be seen and observed with the same honour as life in community with all life on the earth. Life, bursting out of the pot and leaning into the light, mingling creatively with the lives of others. Valuable life, with time and opportunities which must not be frittered away and wasted.

Today, our lives are within the embrace of both Grace and human energy. The possibilities are endless. Lives can be willingly risked – even given for others.

I am nobody’s bit of data.

I am not here merely to be counted. I can do more than that. I can be counted upon.

An audio link is available HERE for a limited time. TFTD begins at 1:23.22 - or about halfway along the audio bar.