Frequently, I struggle with the Life Isn’t Fair Principle. Today is one of those times. I have two friends. One of them is struggling with addictions. One of them is struggling with cancer. Both of them are under 35 and it is really, really hard for me to remember that both of them are struggling because, even with my training, I still frequently view addictions as a choice. It’s my bias and I work hard to fight against it, and when I’m working in my profession, it’s easy to put it aside. In my personal life, it’s personal, so it’s much harder to be objective and understanding because these are MY PEOPLE, not people behind the wall that I place them for ethical reasons.

As I watch both of these men deteriorate, their similarities are staggering. Their health degrades, physically and mentally. Their families rally around them. Loved ones are concerned and praying, praying praying. What I would most like is for the one dying of cancer to be able to talk to the one I view as killing himself with his addictions…but that is my perception of the problem talking…because they are both dying. They are both succumbing. Both are being killed by something deadly that has overtaken them that they cannot handle. One is fighting valiantly. His family is supportive. His friends have shaved their heads. His entire community is behind him as they watch this quiet, go-getter continue his positive message of “I’m fighting this and I can do it!” The other is frequently confused and scared. Unsure as to what is the best path and afraid of the future holds if he lets go of his addiction. His family is supportive and prayerfully watchful. They, too, are scared, hurting, unsure as to what is the best path and afraid of what his future holds if he does not let go of his addiction. If he does not accept the things he cannot change.

Life isn’t fair. I want to save them. To fix them. To change them. To help them.

And I can’t.

And so I pray. I pray that God hears the cries of those around them and that even if His will is let one or both of them come to Him that He might be swayed by us, as selfish as we are. That we want, need, crave more time with them. That there is so much good to be had by their presence here.

I pray.

And I wait.