It always seems like bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. When we look at the world through this perspective, it can be especially hard for us to look at the world as a truly just place. Is the world a just place? I mean— if we look today at the current effects of the Pandemic, the people at the bottom socio-economically have been the most severely affected. How is this just? Haven’t these people suffered enough? For me personally, it can be really difficult to pinpoint the purpose of all of this suffering.
Really, what is the purpose of all of this? Many of my friends have used this as a reason to say that God is absent or does not truly exist, or that God is not involved in the day-to-day planning— and all types of alternative answers. To them, I choose to say, “I do not know— it is a good question, and since I believe God loves us and is truly good, I want to say there is an answer that makes sense— yet, I have no idea what it is!”
Instead of me asking why, I elect to say “now what”? For I know that I cannot explain away a sufficient answer for the agony, yet I know that I can be a part of the solution. I can do my part to lessen the suffering, I can show up and be supportive, and I can share what I have with someone less fortunate than I.
I am reminded of a story of two brothers who survived the Holocaust: One of the brothers became an atheist, while the other remained a believer. These two brothers had not seen each other in many years, and had drifted apart, yet coincidentally, they ran into each other after many, many years. When they met again, the non-believer turned to his brother and stated, “After all of the horrible things we have seen in this world, you still believe in God?!” To this, the believer responded, “I must explain evil, which I cannot, yet you must explain everything else— the beauty in nature, the birth of a child, the workings of a human being, and so much more.”
This to me is part of the ‘now what’. I can choose to focus on the negative, and waste my time— or, I can focus on how I can be a part of the solution. For me, when I go down the rabbit hole of negativity, I find negativity in everything I look at. “Why is my house not as big as his? Why do they have more than me? Why, why, why? Yet when I choose to focus on what I can do, I recognize how powerful I truly am, for only a human being can affect change on such a meaningful level— both positive, and negative.
When someone asks you ‘why’ to this question, how do you answer them? For that matter, how do you find comfort in a world that can seem so unjust?
One thing I do know, is that most of my greatest lessons have not come during happy times, or during the just events in my life. Truly, all of my greatest lessons have come during times of intense difficulty and hardship, and thankfully so, as it is through this adversity that I have been guided toward a sense of peace and a level of humility. It has taken a lot of suffering in my own personal life, for me to really understand that no one is greater than me, and no one is less than me either.
This week, choose to recognize your gifts, and put them to use in your life. Make a difference in the lives of those you encounter, stand up for what you believe in, stop complaining, choose to look at the positives, and really seek the opportunity that always exists in the middle of these difficult moments. We do not have control over what happens, yet we always have control over how we respond to it.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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