Given pause for serious reflection


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/04/2020 (1134 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Recently, as my husband and I headed home after a long walk, we encountered a young man standing on the wrong side of the bridge railing. Concerned, we asked him if he was okay. He wasn’t. 

He spoke of wanting to end it all. Life was really hard for him, especially right now. I wanted to give him hope; communicate his worth. But I struggled to find words — so mostly, I listened.   

Meanwhile, my husband called 911, and the police arrived quickly and took charge of the situation, getting the young man into the safety of their car and assuring us they would find him the help he needed.

We finished our walk, and I went straight to my writing desk and wrote for a while. I wanted to be better prepared next time. 

What does make life worthwhile? Why is a human life so valuable? What is the purpose of life on this earth?

As most of us have more time on our hands than usual, it’s the perfect time to think through some important life questions. Often, we are afraid to do this deeper thinking. So we distract ourselves. We’re afraid others will ask us questions we don’t have answers for, so we put up defences.

My last article touched on the question of origins — how did we get here? It’s the perfect starting point for the questions of worth, meaning and purpose. Rather than going all philosophical though, let me bring it all back to my opening story and what I desperately wanted to communicate.

Essentially, I wanted to tell this young man that he was created in God’s image, with ultimate worth. That his life is sacred. I wanted to tell him he was created for a purpose: to know the one who knew him before he was born. I wanted to tell him that God sees him, even in his isolation and pain. That his life matters to God. 

I think most of us who have a bit of compassion for others, would have tried to assure him of his worth as well. Many of us would agree that there is a purpose for his life and that he shouldn’t end it. But why? What coherent rationale would we offer? What would we base our thinking upon?

I hope you maximize the time you have in these days. Rather than overloading on news updates or escaping with movies, find a quiet place to think now and then. Look for answers. Start conversations that go beyond surface things. Seeking truth is a worthwhile endeavour.

Sonya Braun is a community correspondent for the North End. You can contact her at

Sonya Braun

Sonya Braun
Springfield North community correspondent

Sonya Braun is a community correspondent for Springfield North.

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