I remember standing next to the late Joan Rivers. It was May 2006, and I had been in Sydney, Australia, preaching in some Anglican churches and at a Baptist college. Joan Rivers had been in Sydney filming the Logie Awards, the awards for the best Australian TV (like our Emmy Awards). She was standing immediately in front of me in the line waiting to get on the airplane. We were in different classes, but we were in the same line. She had people with her; I didn't. I didn't get a chance to speak to her, but I was struck by how young she looked. I mean, I had seen her on TV for 40 years, and it looked like that was impossible from the way she looked. Had she escaped the sufferings of age? Had she found the fountain of youth? While medical research has not removed death from our horizon, it has made some advances in removing the signs of aging.
Catherine Mayer, a few years ago, coined the term "amortality." It's not the same thing as "immortality," with no death, but amortality is defined as "disguising, limiting, or deferring the normal aging process." You know what she's talking about: it would be Lasik and Viagra and permatans and Botox and cosmetic surgery. But even the most skilled dentists and dieticians can only do so much.
Suffering finds us everywhere. We may live like adolescents, even in our 60s, and Mick Jagger may perform in his 70s, but at some point, amortality shows that it's not immortality. Even those who make us sing and laugh will suffer, and they will eventually die.
Suffering finds us everywhere. It can be through abuse to fiancées and wives and children in the home. Even hearing of some suffering may take our breath away. But suffering goes ...
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