1 a: easily broken or destroyed
I was struck yesterday and again this morning by how our lives are imbued with a fragility that is more pervasive than most of us are able to acknowledge on a regular basis. Two events have brought this reality to the forefront in a way that I can not ignore: a dear friend's father who has a brain tumor and a friend who died of cancer, leaving behind two beautiful daughters.
There have, of course, been other times in my life when I was aware of life's fragility. I remember reading The Lovely Bones years ago and feeling determined to order groceries online, homeschool and generally barricade my daughters in our home to keep them safe. But even if I were to do that, I would not be able to protect them. Brain tumors and cancer seep through windows, crawl under doors and attack us from beneath our very skins. There is no protecting my children from predators like these.
More importantly, what would I be teaching them about life if we spent all of our time avoiding death, danger and hurts? Life, for all its fragility, is meant to be lived. The very fact that it is easily broken or destroyed makes it all the more important that we live it all out - stretched out fervently to see, taste, experience and do all that life offers us. All that we were made to do.
Life's fragility breaks my heart. But I think perhaps its very fragility is a lesson for us from our Creator. Many of the most beautiful things are fragile or transitory. Spring alone is evidence of this. The riot of blossoms and color that greet us daily will not last forever. Their very transience makes us notice them all the more. My daughters delighted in our daffodils and were dismayed when they quickly faded from vibrant life to a shadow of what they once were.
I'll admit that even as I write these words to remind myself of these truths, I cry. It hurts to be so aware of life's fragility. But I've also recently been pondering time and its value, so seeing the fragility up close makes me long to use the time I have to truly live.