Most of you who read my blog already know that crisis knocked on my family's door the day before Thanksgiving, when my 85-year-old father fell from the roof of our home while hanging Christmas lights. His ladder broke, and his injury was grave. A pilon fracture. An open break. All the things that can cause even young men to lose their legs.
Some say that "believers" aren't supposed to ask why, but I did. Not once. Not twice. I asked it numerous times over the course of the next few days.
Why, God? Why did such a violent thing have to happen to my daddy. He's 85. He was in great shape, walking a mile every day except Sundays. It seems so cruel, God. So unfair. So wrong. I'd just like to know why.
Being the perfect Father that he is, God understood my need to know—I am human, after all—but he didn't answer my question.
One evening, after an exhausting day of keeping vigil at the hospital, the injustice of it all overwhelmed me again, and I raised the question to my mother, the wisest woman I know. Why, Mother? Why did this happen to Daddy?
"It's the law of gravity, baby."
No, I'm serious, Mother. Why now? After all these years? I mean, how many times has Daddy been on that roof, hanging those lights? Umpteen times. Umpteen times, Mother. And this time, when he's nearing the end of his life, he falls and may never walk unaided again. I'd just like to know why, Mother. Can you tell me why?
"Because the ladder broke, sweetheart. The ladder broke."
Matthew 5:45 tells us that God allows the sun to rise on the evil and on the good. He allows the rain to fall on the just and on the unjust. Corrupt men win, and honest men lose. We can whine and moan till the cows come home, but as long as we are imperfect people in an imperfect world, tragedy will visit us all in some form or another. Daddy fell because his ladder broke. Nothing more; nothing less.
I can either allow God's grace to sustain me during this time of personal despair, or I can become angry and bitter and keep asking why. The choice is mine to make, and after an ocean of tears and a million whys, I'm making my choice today: Goodbye, questions. Hello, grace. ♦
grace - noun \ˈgrās\ a: unmerited divine assistance given humans
"My grace is sufficient for you." 2 Corinthians 12:9