Unfortunately we live in a world of injustice. We see it all the time, and it’s easy to wonder why there’s such injustice in the world, and why it’s allowed to continue. I don’t know about you, but my thirteen year old girl constantly reminds me that life isn’t fair. She’s right; it isn’t. To be honest, I’ve even echoed that thought in my own mind and heart, and I admit to having asked the question “why” more often than I care to let anyone know. I’d say that if there’s one question that’s universally asked it’s the question of “why.” We ask in a variety of ways. Some of us shout it, some of us cry it, some of us get angry about it, some of us do all three at once, but I’ll bet it’s a rare individual that has never asked the question.
Since I’ve already admitted to having asked it, and more than once, I feel that I’m more than qualified to write about it. As some of you know, I have a debilitating chronic pain condition that affects my ability to walk, and has taken away my ability to work at what I used to do. Now I’m not writing this to garner sympathy. I know there are many people who make what I deal with every day look like a day of just sitting and basking in the light of a warm sunny day, but I do know something about pain, about loss, and about the question of “why.”
Can I ask you a question? When do you most often ask “why?” If I were a betting man, I’d lay odds that your “why” questions are most often asked as a result of something bad that’s either happened to you or someone you love, or that has, in some way, come way too close to where you live. You might think that asking the question of “why” is wired into our DNA, and in a way you’re right . . .
If you think it’s wrong to question the “why’s” of our lives I’d like you to consider (forgive me)-Why-almost all of the greatest literature, the greatest inventions, the greatest works of art, and the greatest of tragedies have all been a result of or come about as a solution to this one question? I know that wasn’t fair, but perhaps you see my point. The question of “why” is a legitimate question, and one that I don’t believe you should feel bad about or guilty over asking.
It’s not asking “why” that causes any damage to us or to God. The damage that so many of us experience isn’t due to our asking, but rather in our failure to receive and accept the answer given. I know that there are many of you reading this who are going to jump all over me and say that there are no answers to some things; that there are no answers to some of the horrific, terrible, tragic things that happen, and you’re welcome to disagree, but I will not back down because I know that just because you can’t see an answer doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
For most of us our dislike of something immediately garners our disapproval, our disrespect, our denial, and our disdain, and thus too often we are blinded to what is right and true regardless of who is saying it, or how it’s said, or as in this case, how it’s written. Sadly, far too often, it’s our own arrogance, our own sense of self-worth that prevents us from seeing answers to our questions that are right in front of us.
I realize that this will be a let down to some, but, in spite of those who know-it-all, the fact is that most of are not and will never be privy to all that is being done in this world nor how it’s being done, but just as we can’t always see someone’s motive nor even understand the ones we do, it doesn’t negate the fact that there is one.
In this life we have to know and understand that sometimes the “why’s” of our lives will be revealed to us not when we want them to be, but when we’re ready to know the answer. When I was a kid I often asked my Dad “why” he did or didn’t do something according to my wishes, and he would say, “because” without any further explanation. I hated it, but it didn’t change the answer-at least not in the short-term-but as I grew older many of those answers came, and with it the knowledge that my father knew better than I did . . . So does your heavenly father.