I don’t think anyone makes it past nursery school without somehow learning that phrase. I've heard it at least three times today from my grandchildren. We use it for all kinds of injustices, big and small. Somehow it crosses all cultures and religions, and becomes one of the great mysteries...or at least it does to me.
How can a house of decent people be blown away by a tornado that left the clothes hanging on the line a few feet away at the home of their neighbors who are definitely not model citizens? How can those who give their life to benefit others find out that their own lives will be cut short? How can someone who pillages the hard earnings of innocent victims lead a long and comfortable life? How can terrible parents end up with a house full of children, while the ones who would have much more love to give end up childless?
My struggle with these questions came to a great crechendo when Walker was born. In the support group for Early Intervention “Why me?” was a subject of much discussion. There was a girl who belonged to a religious group that forbade women to cut their hair. Some of her older relatives surmised that she was born with a “dee-formed” child because she wore her hair short. The rest of us questioned our diets, our ages, our vitamins, but none of us seemed to have much in common in our history. I wondered if God thought I was being greedy for wanting a third child when I already had two beautiful little girls.
Somehow, most of the Bible verses I seemed to remember back then had to do with doing right and being rewarded, or being so evil that God sent some flood or pestilence to punish. Most of us in the group could think of some transgressions in our past, but none of us had ever done much of anything even remotely approaching criminal. Well, perhaps my taking my mother’s car on a joy ride at fourteen was criminal, but I got it back home in one piece with my little brother safely in the front seat beside me.
In the Fall of 1975, though, my whole concept of God’s being fair was blown to smithereens.
The news today that our beautiful little cousin, Geoffery, and his family will be forced to fight mightily to keep what they so deserve only adds to the mystery. I can’t imagine more loving, caring parents than Geoffery’s. There may be more loving aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents than his, but I can’t imagine that either. If ever any family did things right, this one did.
I hope I’ll someday come to a peace with what I can’t understand. Today just isn’t that day.