I recently heard a presentation in which the speaker described two ways in which people process life events, especially traumatic ones. One was through the lens of being a victim (Life is against me), the other through the lens of a victor (I have overcome life). This didn’t sit right with me at all. I tried to think why.
If life is a gift (something given for the good of the other) then it can’t be against you. Many more people have written about the problem of pain, and many theologies attempt to reconcile it, so I won’t tackle it now (but maybe later). The thing here is that if life can’t be against you, since life itself is a gift and not our adversary, then we can’t be victims. That eliminates the victim lens.
The victor lens is a little different for me. I’ve experienced extreme favor in my life. Many would look from the outside and say I’ve lived a charmed life. Here’s the catch. If there are forces at work that give life (as the gift it is) and take it away, that provide comfort and allow pain, who am I in all this to claim a victory. The victories are gifts as well. Victories to be grateful for, and to acknowledge, but not to take credit for, lest arrogance overcomes us.
So if we are neither victims, nor victors, who are we? That’s a question for another day.