Reflections on wondering why.

On Saturday, I did a funeral. Here is a bit of what I said:

Why did Kathy get cancer? Why did it move so fast? Why do I have a text on my phone from Andrew that says, “Allie’s granna is really sick. Cancer throughout. Waiting on test results. Could be gone within weeks.” And now, about 35 days later, we are at her funeral.

Why do people we need and know and love die before we are ready?

Scottie’s answer is, “When your time is up, that’s it.” And I agree. I have a sense that we can change the character of our lives, that we can live well or not, that we can take care of ourselves or not, we can waste our lives or invest our lives. But we can’t, as Jesus once said, “add one hour to our lives by worrying.”

I’m pretty sure it isn’t about something she did wrong or didn’t do right.

Jesus was asked one day, “Were the people murdered by a ruthless foreign leader while worshiping doing something wrong? Were the people killed when the tower fell down doing something wrong?” It sounds almost exactly like a bomb going off and a refinery exploding in the same week. Or cancer invading. And Jesus says, “Nope. They weren’t worse people than any of the rest of you.”

Then why? Why did Kathy die? Why is a week-old baby in Fort Wayne struggling to breath [and now has died]?

Not because Kathy did something wrong, or someone missed something but because there is evil. Because there is something wrong in the world that allows cells to malfunction a little, and then grow explosively.

This isn’t how things were created to be. This world has been bent. It stinks. Death hurts. So does dying. And watching dying.

I wish I could remember what pediatric oncologist said, “Trusting God doesn’t mean you stop asking why, it means I don’t push so hard for the answer.”

2 thoughts on “Reflections on wondering why.

  1. Joseph Ruiz (@SMSJOE)

    Jon, so sorry for the losses. I heard a quote that I love – “We don’t get to choose how we die, but we can choose how we live” May the Lord grant you and your extended family hope peace and comfort.


  2. Ken Zagacki

    I liked your response, Jon. The theodicy presents us with the most profound issues, doesn’t it? Have you read Why Bad Things Happen to Good People?


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