Living Out Loud

Twenty Six


The age-old question of why bad things happen to good people seems to be on the lips of many Texans this past week in the wake of the recent shooting in Sutherland Springs. I, like many of you, seek answers when the world has become like the weather — cold and lonely.

Yes, I understand the world today is not perfect even though many of us strife to make our little corner of it a little better than the way we found it. I am more proud of being a Texan, transplanted but still a Texan, by the ways we as communities are responding to the victims and their families during this unspeakable tragically. “One man alone can't defeat the forces of evil, but many good people coming together can.” - Harold S. Kushner.

I find myself looking for any kind of light during these moments of darkness and cold. Even the sun seems to be dimmer this past week but as I searched for its light through my window, even though the light seemed dim, it still could cast shadows. The light seemed to slow down time and my heart rate with it. I watched the fall weather gather the leaves outside and began to look like an impromptu dance recital. It was nothing extraordinary in that moment but I still felt calmness over take me. The light will leave but it will return again tomorrow, even after I, myself, leave this earth, the sun will return and shine through someone’s window, even mine though I will not be there to enjoy its warmth. It’s a coping method for finding my inner strength and peace, much like the Serenity Prayer. It does not matter to me if you’re not religious, it’s plain ole’ wisdom; “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

I believe in God. But I do not believe the same things about Him that I did years ago, when I was a child growing up. I no longer hold God responsible for terrible tragedies, accidents, illness or natural disasters, because I lose so much when I blame God for those things. I can worship a God who hates the senseless suffering but cannot eliminate it, simply because He gave us all free will and the ability to love each other or allow hate to enter our hearts. Love and hate involves a choice, it’s your own choice and you will have to choose which one you rather grow in your heart. God does not cause our misfortunes. Some are caused by bad luck, choices and some are caused by bad people, and it’s as simple as that to me.

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.” - Ernest Hemingway.