The Right Answer to Everything
There have been lots of heart wrenching moments these past few weeks; some are moments that I have only witnessed from afar, and others are moments that are in closer proximity to me.
These moments have really pushed me to sit down and think about the different questions - the hard questions - in life. Before I even start, allow me the privilege to share an snippet of some of these events:
We all know about the recent terror attacks that happened in Paris. I didn't have much to say about the topic because there were so many new and developing stories in addition to the multitude of extreme comments out there, and I wasn't sure who to believe. But then I read an extensive article called "The Mothers of ISIS" by the Huffington Post. Please do read it if you have not! The article gives a new perspective on the stories behind the members of ISIS. For a moment I think I forgot that even the members of ISIS came from some place where they have families waiting for them. The article particularly covers the story of the mothers behind some ISIS members. The mothers of ISIS have gone through excruciating pain while trying to convince their children to come home, only to find out that they have been killed in one way or another. The article says that :
"What they want, more than anything, is to make sense of the senselessness of what happened to their children—and, perhaps, for something meaningful to come from their deaths"
Not long after the Paris attacks, I read a news about a Pastor in Indiana, Davey Blackburn, who lost his pregnant wife from a gun shooting action in his own house. I must admit that I major stalked the couple on Instagram, and the facts that I discovered were heart wrenching. Davey and his wife Amanda are a wonderful couple that loves each other very much. They have a beautiful little son, and they were expecting another child. I could not imagine what Pastor Davey must be going through.
In addition to that, this week I got a Facebook notification reminding me of the birthday of a childhood friend that passed away a couple years ago. That friend fought two different, consecutive, cancers; he won one and lost to the other. I also just recently received news of a friend's father who passed away; and this last news really stunned me and really rang the alarm in my head. I was stunned at how sudden things could happen. I was confused. I wanted to provide consolation but I realized that no words could console a grieving friend, family, or nation.
Granted, I am only a sideline watcher of all these events that are going on. If we are talking about pain and heartache, there is no comparison to the heartache that is experienced by the people who are directly involved in these stories.
I had many questions that remained unanswered. But then I found this video that captured an exchange between a son and father during a live interview. Here's an excerpt of what happened, quoted from the New York Times:
SON:“Yes, because they’re really, really mean. Bad guys are not very nice. And … we really have to be careful because we have to change homes.”
The boy’s dad jumps in and consoles him, saying, “Oh, no, don’t worry, we don’t need to move out. France is our home.”
SON:“But there’s bad guys, daddy!” the boy says.
“Yes, but there are bad guys everywhere,” his dad reminds him.
SON:“They have guns, they can shoot us because they’re really, really mean,” the boy continues.
“It’s OK, they might have guns, but we have flowers,” his dad says.
SON:“But flowers don’t do anything,” the boy argues. “They’re for, they’re for …”
“See all the flowers?” his dad asks, gesturing off screen. “It’s to fight against the guns.”
“It’s to protect?” the boy asks.
“Exactly,” his dad says.
Did the video make you smile? I hope it did. It surely made me smile. I learned a couple things from this video:
1. I learned that "bad" things or events could happen anywhere, to anyone, at anytime, and sometimes there is nothing we can do to avoid it.
2. Our part is not to provide fuel to the fire, but to provide love and understanding. There are no consolation that is good enough to be able to take the pain from the loss of a father. We cannot create essays, articles, videos that are great enough to heal wounds. What we can do is to be present. To be ready to help. To offer a shoulder shall a shoulder be needed.
This is a view from a young person who has very limited knowledge and experience in the department of losing loved ones. By no means am I an expert on this topic, and by no means is this directed to advise people who are more experienced in life. But maybe I could offer some grains of sand to those who I consider to be my peers; the people who are walking side by side with me in this journey. I hope that we can all be reminded that life, like a typewriter, has no backspace buttons, and that it can end any time. But in the midst of chaos, fear, worry and pain that this world is experiencing, and in the midst of the multitude of unanswered questions, I hope that we remember that love bears all things, love never fails. And if you insist on getting your questions answered, I can tell you that love is always always the right answer.
"Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" 1 Corinthians 13:7
"Love.. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.. Love never fails" - 1 Corinthians 13:7-8