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Sunday, April 18, 2010

"some good will come from this..."

Terrible things happen in life, sometimes. Whether they happen to us, to those we love, or people in some other part of the world, they just seem to happen. We can’t control them, even with our humanistic desire to do just that. I believe our effort to control them is cathartic and the right thing to do for now. But what do we make of the thoughts which these events inspire in so many. For example, I and many close to me were recently touched by the news of the loss of a young man’s life, just as he was beginning to blossom into the hopes and dreams of himself and those who loved him. These types of events make it very easy for us to get disillusioned by the inevitable loss that sometimes creeps right into our very own lives.

Yet still, there is hope for those who wonder “why?” and those who say “how could God let this happen to him/her” and even the questioning of “why did this have to happen at all?” It is no secret that when terrible things happen, caring friends and family often offer the condolence of “some good will come from this,” and though it is easy to dismiss this expression of hope as dismissive way to deal with grief and loss, I am happy to report that it is in fact true.

I had a conversation with a friend of mine two days ago discussing some of the tragic things which we have seen or been part of in our lives. She told of the traumatic experience of being within 100 yards of London subway bombing in 2005. I told of the untimely loss of a couple friends during my high school years. Though both stories were very different, we both casually described the effect those experiences had on the decisions we have since made since, and soon realized that a lot of those decisions have had direct effects on our career choices. My friend actually said at one point during the conversation “that was the day I chose to go to medical school.” We have both actually chosen career paths which are difficult but will eventually enable us to positively effect the lives of many people in our own way.

Now of course, everyone has life-experiences that help shape their lives, that is not to uncommon. However, what is interesting to me is that both events are exactly the type of events which people offer those same “why” questions mentioned above. And now, nearly 5 plus years later, some of the “good” which was hoped for result of those terrible events in our lives, is actually close to coming to fruition. Both she and I, nearly complete bystanders from our respective “life changing” events - have eventually used those “why” experiences for the good of others.

Thus I have come to the conclusion that when such terrible events occur, no matter how great or how small, though we grieve and hurt, it is REAL to expect good to result from our loss. There are in fact people, just like you and I who allow those events to move them and build up inside of them and ultimately inspire them to better the lives of others. It might take years, but if we are patient, real and tangible good will result from loss.

4 comments:

  1. A wonderful reflection Joe. Reminds me of the need for patience in all aspects of life. It also reminds me to keep my eyes open every day for signs of God's love.
    :)

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  2. a well-written piece with lots of love in it mojoe.

    i agree with the underlying insight that there's much to be felt and learned in many of life's major events, whether good/bad/happy/sad. People don't often ask "why" when something good happens- it's easier to take it and run, no questions asked. When tragedy is made personal, it's a brief reminder that suffering can't be eluded and this shakes our worldview, pushing us to ponder why.

    Personally i don't think bad events (or good events) are meant to be per se, but as you show wonderfully, they can be used to strengthen our connection with others and act in a way that makes this place a bit better for everyone.

    keep up the writing amigo

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  3. I read your comments yesterday when I had a little break at the hospital. At the time my mind was somewhat "numb" with very few brain cells ready to produce a meaningful thought.....This morning for whatever reason, your comments made me think of the flip side...Why do good things happen to us? Why do so many good things happen to us? I'm thinking in particular of all the good things that we do not even see. Or we see but do not perceive. Biblically speaking I'm thinking of all those "signs and wonders" that are all around us, but we do not see. Perhaps we are too numb, too overwhelmed by the "terrible things that happen in life." Is it for this reason that Jesus spoke about becoming a little child in order to enter the kingdom?

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  4. agreed, keep it up, little brother

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