Why Does God Allow It
I went to grade school with a kid by the name of Eugene. He was what kinder people would refer to as “slow.” The not so kind would call him retarded.
His life played out this way because of an umbilical cord that was wrapped around his neck during birth. His brain didn’t get all the blood it needed. So it ran slow. Very slow.
I don’t believe I ever referred to him as retarded nor do I remember hearing anyone else treat him that way. I do remember though, never going out of my way to play with him. I did try to engage in conversation with him a few times over the years. But that was difficult.
I wish I had tried harder.
Being at a loss for words or ideas. I didn’t know what to say or do. And since I didn’t know what do say or do, I took next to no action. I just went about playing with the other kids.
I wish I had figured it out.
There wasn’t any coaching or encouragement back then by the teachers or adults to reach out to him, play with him. Talk to him. They probably didn’t know what to do either.
I wish somebody had figured it out and told me how important it was when I was 10 years old.
I now know a lot of people with intellectual deficits. Family members, friends, children of friends. Not one of them picked those deficits as a life choice. It was what they were given. And it arrived in many different ways…
Trauma before birth – Infection, alcohol, drugs or toxins.
Trauma during birth – oxygen deprivation, premature birth.
Trauma acquired after being born – Brain Injury – Like Josh.
Lead or mercury poisoning.
A severe case of measles, whooping cough, or meningitis. Any one of us could end up with anyone of those situations above. But we didn’t.
Life seems so arbitrary at times.
Never has a person asked, “Please give me intellectual deficits so my life can be even harder in every way imaginable. Including the likelihood of being isolated, mocked, bullied, ridiculed and abused in any number of ways.
It’s been a long time now that we have been a family impacted by intellectual deficits. I’ve had to wrestle with the idea not only in our family but all these other families who are in the same boat.
Why does God allow it?
I’ve asked why many times… I’ve asked God. I’ve asked others. I’ve asked myself.
I don’t know if I have the answer but I have to wonder, does God allow this, so we can learn to love better?
To give us the opportunity to become better people?
To learn to take our focus off of our tendency to worry about what might be petty stuff, and point us towards more “important,” things?
Because that is what it seems to have done to me.
I thought I loved my son before as much as a parent could before he was hurt.
But it can’t compare to how much I love him now. It has simply grown.
I thought I was a decent guy before for the most part. I went to church, I gave both time and money to charities, I helped people in need out financially. This however has allowed me to care about more people, more deeply in more ways than I could have ever imagined.
Maybe these challenges exist because, in some way, it’s good for us. And it occurred to me that maybe I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today, how I think, what I choose to do, any other way.
I know many people who are in a similar boat would not agree with me in the slightest. I don’t blame them. I certainly wouldn’t have agreed with what I’m saying now over 100% of these last 14 years.
Maybe I tell myself this story, I tell myself, this is the way it is because it helps me get through the night. It helps me make sense of what could be seen as senseless. As what could be seen as only a tragedy or a burden. Or sad or painful or just a struggle.
That’s the lesson in all this for myself right now. I get to choose the meaning I want this situation to have. And when I choose a positive meaning, I don’t just feel better, which is great. I do more positive things with it when I assign a positive meaning to something.
I can’t say for sure what God thinks. I can’t say for sure why God allows anything to happen for sure. But What I do know is I get to choose the meaning to this situation and that is causing me to become different than what I was before. Hopefully a better version of myself. And in light of that, I just want to say thank you God for everything in my life and help me to see the positives that can come out of anything and everything I see.
Please help me out with this message. Share it with your friends and your family. The only way it can help anyone is if it’s heard by them. Thanks for listening. I’ll be back with another message in a few days.