Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cancer Sucks, and Life Is Not Fair

I think we can all agree to that much. I think we can also agree that dealing with the painful things in life is not always easy. For that reason, I think it's important to recognize that grief is a process, and everyone has to learn to deal with it in his/her own way. These are just some of the themes that come out in The Fault in Our Stars, a movie about a teenage girl with cancer, and her struggle to live with the fact that she's dying.

Cancer doesn't care how old you are
I'd like to begin by saying that this is definitely not the kind of movie you take your church group to see. There are several references to Christianity in the movie, and almost all of them are negative. But that's not to say that all Christians should necessarily avoid it. There are several points from the film that are certainly worth considering.

WARNING: This post contains spoilers!

Cancer - like other diseases, natural disasters, and car accidents - doesn't care how old you are, and for Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), cancer came calling when she was 13 years old. Over the years, she had the ups and downs of a roller-coaster - this treatment seems to be working, then it doesn't work, then something else works, then it doesn't work, she gets better, she gets worse - and now, at 17, even though the latest treatment seems to be working, she finds herself often depressed as she faces the reality that this can only go on for so long.

It's not fair.

It never is.

But unfairness doesn't stop bad things from happening to anybody. Why did my dad have to lose a foot in a tractor accident? Why was I born with vision problems? Neither case was really anybody's fault - we didn't do anything to deserve it - so why did it have to happen? Or just as importantly, what do we do now? How do you handle it when life is more than just unfair, but it's downright cruel?