Bad things do happen to good people

“Once a thing is set to happen, all you can do is hope it won’t. Or will-depending. As long as you live, there’s always something waiting, and even if it’s bad, and you know it’s bad, what can you do? You can’t stop living.”
Truman Capote

(stone bust on Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

I can remember shortly after my mom died, at the young age of 53 due to a short battle with lung cancer, a well meaning friend gave me a copy of the book, When Bad Things Happen To Good People by Rabbi Harold Kushner.

Eventually I read the book, but it certainly didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know.

1) Despite what we may hope or think, none of us are exempt from bad, sad, evil, crime, illness, accidents…
No matter our age, our race, our sex or our life’s dealings…
Life happens and that is unfortunately part and parcel for living.

2) God does not have it out for us.
He does not exact His vengeance or wrath or displeasure on us hapless souls down below.
We are not His little chess pieces that He moves giddily around on some giant chess board of Life…
Never ever does He sadistically derive pleasure by “messing” with or in our lives nor does He find pleasure in being some giant unseen voyeur who receives sick thrills by watching us hurt and / or suffer.

3) There are just some things, no matter how advanced we may think we are or how smart and savvy or how pious…that we will ever fully understand while we walk this planet.
As hard as all of that is to understand, that’s just that, like it or not.

So much of our anger and frustration in such is that we find ourselves totally out of control.
We can’t stop certain things from happening…no matter how careful, thoughtful or preventative we may be.

4) That there is a mighty spiritual battle that rages all around us and like it or not, believe it or not, Satan walks this earth as this earth is his realm.
That there are those most learned individuals who will write such a statement off as a myth, a fairytale, a comment made by the weak, the naive, the ignorant. But it is they, in my opinion, who are the ignorant ones.

Evil is real.
It is all around us.

Those of us who are believers find peace in the knowledge that the war is already won, yet we also are aware that the battles, well, they continue with a vengeance.
And God is no puppet master controlling the strings.
We all have free will…the good as well as the bad…which makes us all vulnerable… throw in disease, genetics on top of free will…and it’s pretty much open season….
As we live in a world that unfortunately knows disease and sickness of both mind and body.

One of the biggest arguments / questions raised by humanity is why won’t He [God] intervene when, especially when, ‘the innocent’ are the victims…???
Those who are infants, children, the elderly, the vibrant, the giving, the loving, those who are simply going about life, minding their own business….

I don’t know that answer…as I have often been left to raise an angry fist and voice skyward as I have vehemently expressed my anger, frustration and sheer bewilderment…“if you love us like you say you do, why……….?

And that is sadly where some members of my family are at this very moment.

My cousin’s daughter and son-n-law along with their two young grandsons live in Chicago.
The family has been there a little over a decade. It is their home where they are raising their two little boys ages 3 and 6.

Tim Anderson, my cousin’s son-n-law, works at a bank in downtown Chicago. He commutes daily via train from their home out in the suburbs, in The Village into town.
He left home early Monday morning, like he always does, yet he never made it to work.
In fact Tim has not been seen nor heard from since he left at 4:30AM for the train station Monday morning.

His abandoned car was found hours later near a vast wilderness park area which is no where near home or the train station. His wife has also noted that he had actually left his work bag behind in those wee hours Monday morning. Something seems to have been terribly wrong at the very beginning of this sad mystery.

The family is financially sound.
Happy, healthy… both physically and mentally.
My cousin and his wife flew up from Atlanta yesterday to join other family members and friends as the search continues for Tim….

Yet just now (Wednesday) as I’ve been pecking at this post, the latest update from Chicago has been that a body has been recovered from the wilderness park.
Leaving more investigating and the continuing struggle to answer the unanswerable questions…as well as how to explain to two little boys daddy isn’t coming home….

Something bad has happened to this young family.
Why, we don’t know.
Just like in so many cases when “bad” happens, we don’t know nor perhaps we may never know the reasoning, the rationale….as there simply is no quick, easy or right answer…just as there are no acceptable answers during these bad moments of life.

Sadly bad things are happening to both good people as well as bad as I type these very words…all across this planet of ours throughout our human family ..

A request for prayers please for this young family…husband Tim, wife Cathrall and their two young sons, as well as for both the Brumby and Nichols family members in Atlanta and the Andersons in Chicago.