Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In addressing that age old question that deals with "bad", "good", and the happenings of people

I’ve wrestled with this question for years. By no means is this a full and compete (or even correct) answer, but rather my take on the answer in the current moment that’s my life. In three months I’ll read this post and cringe because, at that time, life will be different and I’ll have a whole new set of feelings about “bad”, “good” and the happenings of people.

For now, let this get you thinking, wondering, marinating.

Lots of illness is going around in my hood. Not just colds, stomach flus, aches and pains, but big D diseases. Like cancer, like chronic infections, like diseases named after people (if it’s named after the person who discovered it that means it’s bad news –in my non-medical professional head), like dementia. This big D disease makes my heart heavy with prayer, with hope, yet with sorrow, with anguish. And then I get to thinking. That thinking follows a trail that rabbit holes into why do “bad” things happen to “good” people? sort of fashion.

What makes a person “good”? It’s such an odd term we lend to those who are giving, wise, virtuous, sweet, caring, and the list goes on. But who said that’s “good”? And why does someone who possesses favorable character not deserve anything “bad” to happen to them? Simple answer: they do. Nope, no person –good or otherwise- has earned themselves a life free of suffering. Just because we –you, me, and all those in between- feel entitled to all the happiness, sparkles, and sweetness the world has to offer, does not mean we deserve it.

If you've been around a while you know that a big D disease is killing my little d dad. Yep, some dementia is doing quite a number on his brain and body. Little d dad is a “good” guy (by whoever the hell made that up’s standards). He did business, made money, gave generously. He taught people what it means to be virtuous and honest in work and in life in general. But, he’s a sinner nonetheless. There were times he made mistakes. Where he was fueled by the potential of lots of money. Where he was so stressed about work he didn’t engage at home. Where he didn't trust in the path God had laid out for him and was working to do it his way (rather than His way). The good news for little d dad, my big D dad sent His son to live and die to save his life.Thank God.

Just like my little d dad, I’m suffering in the piercing agony of loss. Watching him dissolve before my eyes is unbelievably painful. And I’m a “good” person. I tithe, I cook dinner for my husband, I’m honest and work hard. But, I’m a sinner nonetheless. I've made mistakes. Sometimes I drink too much and act a fool. Sometimes I care more about what people think than what God thinks. Sometimes I run away from a challenge to my faith rather than taking it head on with His strength. The good news for my foolish soul, my big D dad sent His son to live and die to save my life. Thank God.

Do I think my big D dad is punishing me with “bad” because I misbehave? No. But I do think we –you, me, and little d dad- live in a broken and hurting world where “bad” things happen with little to no good reason. I think we’re all a little bit lost, a little bit hurt, a little bit good, and a lot of sin. But the good news for us is the love, grace, and mercy that He bestows upon us. Thank God.

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." -Hebrews 4:16

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