Why?

It’s inevitable.  It’s unavoidable.  It lurks.  It hovers.  Sometimes it jumps out at you when you’re not expecting it.  Sometimes it just sits beside you like an old friend, silently.  

Why? 

Why me?

Why my child?

Why my family?

Why?

I know that “why” is not the point.  I know that the important question is “to what end?”  Like the story of the disciples asking Jesus what the blind man’s parents had done that he should be born this way and Jesus’ reply that it was nobody’s sin that had caused the man to be born blind.  He was born that way so that the works of God could be seen in him.  I believe that, and I use that belief to chase away the why when it appears.

I’m reminded of the movie A Beautiful Mind, about Nobel Laureate John Nash who was also a schizophrenic.  If you haven’t seen the movie I’m going to ruin for you, but it’s also about ten years old so maybe you should get out more.  About halfway through the film you discover that Nash’s three closest “friends,” his college roomate, the roomate’s daughter, as well as his CIA boss are really delusions.  Eventually he realizes it too.  At their direction he has done crazy things and his life has spiraled out of control.  Over a period of several years he comes to grips with this and gradually cuts them out of his life — which is to say that he stops interacting with them, talking, listening, and reacting to them.  But even as a very old man, decades later, he still sees them.  They still follow him, though they speak less to him than they used to.

Sometimes the why feels like that.  To the degree that you interact with it and indulge it, it takes over your life — I can see that.  I have a taste of how it can lead you into an altered state of existence.  But sometimes it can be awfully hard to ignore, it can get in your face and scream.  But sometimes it’s comforting, it’s easy…even safe.  But even if you don’t talk to it, and ignore its curses at you — can you ever really be free?  Or do you just learn to live in a comfortable detente, grow from the experience of having it in your life but carefully hold it at bay.

I don’t want to look at Hope and wonder why, even if I can chase it away.  I just want to be grateful and happy.

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