I often wonder, why? I think a lot of parents, special needs or not, lay awake at night and ask, why? Why, an adverb used when confusion is present. We are brought up to find the purpose, the reason for the random event of this life. We are driven to answer this simple question but sometimes; the whys just can’t be answered.
Why does the rich kid, with all the benefits of life at his disposal, struggle with reading? Why was my child born with Spina Bifida and the child born to drug addicted, con artists, completely healthy? Why did the beautiful daughter, of the country preacher die from the flu at 16? Why did Chloe, the new-born, with a brain tumor, sent home on hospice, receive the miracle of a clean, MRI 3 months later? Why did Terry survive the car crash and his twin perish? When one percent survive, one percent survive, the lucky one percent.
In times of stress and trauma, adults often turn to their source of inspiration or blame the inspiration of others. Those who believe turn to what they believe. Seeking answers, seeking solace, always seeking, wondering, doubting and pondering the unknown. Those with causes try to tie the tragedy to their cause. Nevaeh, did not die of the flu but a bacterial infection she caught at the same time as the flu. Which came first? No one knows. Chloe still had a mass in her brain. It was just not the fatal tumor, even doctors can be partly wrong.
As a Christian, I have been taught to turn to my faith. That when bad things happen, pray and God will swoop down and miracles happen. If you pray hard enough, the cure will be found, your lame girl will walk, the child with Autism will become normal. (By the way, Normal is overrated. What does normal mean?) Does this mean that the preacher did not pray hard enough for Nevaeh or that Chloe was someone more worthy of the miracle?
Jesus cured the hemorrhaging woman who just reached out and touched his cloak. He rose the daughter of Jarius from the dead. We are taught to turn, to pray and are directed toward these or similar passages. The lame man walked. Did all lame men walk? No! Did all the daughters who were sick or died receive a miracle? No. Were the people of the past not asking the same questions that we ask today?
Special needs parents and parents of those that have lost their child must have a special kind of faith. The kind of faith that says random things happen and bad things happen to good people. God did not refuse to cure your child nor did he allow Terry’s twin to die. God is present and he provides us the strength and fortitude to put one foot in front of the other. To look for, to search for, the joy in life on those darkest day. To search for him, to reach out and have faith. For somehow tranquility does; somehow, someday return. Yes, he does cure all and make all whole, just not in this world.
This world is broken, twisted and random. It is just as warped and fragmented as it was 50 or 100 years ago. As it was when Jesus walked the earth. Only in different ways. God or Jesus is present. You just have to reach out, pause and listen for the harmony. At some point you find it. You find it in the faith of the preacher, the eyes the infant, in the hug of Terry’s twin or the mantra of the special needs parent. All have experienced trauma, all have had to struggle to believe. To believe that this random world did not deal them the upsets, disappointments and broken hearts because they or their child is less deserving.
Jesus and God did not write in stone that all would be cured. That the Almighty is present to prevent all misfortune and sufferings. Yes, sometimes this world may deal you more than you can handle, at that moment. Sometimes you just have to work through the agony, you have to cry and to hurt. It is OK to cry! You reach out and pray that someday it will be better. You learn to look for the blessings. To stop and see the beauty of the single rose, sitting just outside the view of the populace. The special needs parent reaches out to their maker for support and relies on their faith to carry them in times of anguish. The WHYS; however, remains unanswered.
Footprints in the Sand – by M. Powers
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”