Often, I fall into the trap of asking, “Why, God?” Why am I here, at this place, at this time? Why do these things happen to me and to those whom I love? Why can’t those I love make better choices? Why do bad things happen? Why do good things happen? Why am I me and not someone else more or less fortunate?
God is gently guiding me to replace my why’s with how’s. How am I to see the good in the situation? How am I to help, not hinder? How can I let go of my satisfactory insecurities and trust in God’s love? I find how to be a much more active question. Whereas why leaves me sitting in a puddle of self-indulgence, how encourages me to look outward and reach forward.
What I see when I look outward: I see a family mourning the loss of a beloved mother, supporting each other, remembering her. I see a young man, confident in his gifts, doggedly pursuing an opera career. I see the mother of a young man with autism, making a home and living, nurturing her family, always giving. I see elderly women who faithfully call each other every day to check-in. I see a son who, without any second thoughts, offered a kidney to his father. I see a husband taking care of his chronically ill wife, tenderly loving her through the years. I see a friend who writes to a woman she’s never met, offering her friendship. I see a family who takes-in a second teenager because her own family is unable to support her. I see a group of people who, week after week, meet together to sing pure vowels and harmonies to somehow join the music of the spheres.
And, I try to learn my lessons…that’s how…and that’s how…and that’s how. Bravely and courageously, determinedly, faithfully, unselfishly: these are how. Why fades into the distance in the face of these noble how’s.
“The circumstances through which God has us pass are an essential
and not a secondary factor of the mission to which he calls us. For us, these
circumstances have all the weight of a call.”
L. Guissani and Fr. Julian Carrón