“Mom, what is this movie about?” a child asked his mother as “It's a Wonderful Life” was just beginning.
“It's about a man who is in trouble through no fault of his own and he wishes that he had never been born. He thinks other people's lives would be better that way. But an angel comes and shows him how much worse the world would be if he had never been there.”
“Sometimes I wish I had never been born,” the child continued.
“Well, I would miss you very much,” the mother answered.
“But you wouldn't have known me.”
“I would know something was missing.”
“But when I have been bad, and done something I can't fix, or hurt someone, I feel bad and think it would be better if I wasn't around.”
“We all do wrong things like that sometimes, but if we tell God we are sorry and try to make up for the things we have done, that is all we can do. We have to keep moving forward.”
“I do tell God I'm sorry, but sometimes I still think it would be better if I wasn't around,” the child insisted.
“At times like that, you need to remember that God made you with a special purpose in mind. He loves you and He had a reason for putting you here. The world needs you. Ok?”
“Ok. Thanks, Mom.”
“I love you,” the mother replied.
“I love you, too.”
At one time or another in our lives, perhaps even when we were still rather young, we might have thought the world would be better off without us. Maybe one of you reading this was thinking that very thought today. Like the child, we need to be reminded of God's forgiveness and love. We all have regrets, things that we have done in our past that we really wish we could take back. There are times in our lives when we feel like a burden to others. A child might feel responsible for his parents fighting. A chronically sick adult may feel like she serves no real purpose in the world, that she has outlived her usefulness.
We suffer when we feel like others must suffer because of us, whether it is because of something we actually did or merely as a consequence of life circumstances. Our lives are far from perfect; but, no matter how bad we may perceive our lives to be, God is always there with open arms, ready to shower us with His love. There is no sin we have committed that God will not forgive, provided we are truly sorry. There is no burden that God is not willing to help us carry.
God loves each and every one of us. The words of Psalm 139 tell us of the loving care that God put into creating each one of us. “Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. . .My soul also you knew full well; nor was my frame unknown to you when I was made in secret.” God indeed made each of us for a reason. The world needs each one of us. Each life touches so many other lives. We each have a role to play. Yes, we make mistakes, but without each of us, the world would be a little bit less than it should be. Even in the midst of our heartache and sorrow, life is an amazing gift. “I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works.” May we give thanks today for our wonderful, imperfect, lives. May we treasure the gift we have been given.
Note: If you are suffering from depression, please contact your doctor. If you feel that you may be a danger to yourself or anyone else, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE or go to your nearest hospital.