Recently my thoughts were centered on the dichotomy of events that so many people constantly find themselves in. “Why has this happened to me?” one might say as they view one tragic event after another in their waking moments, perhaps daily. They think for a moment; “my sibling has nothing but good fortune and is able to give her children anything they desire; money, unheard of trips, the best schools, and O yes, opportunities that I could never dream of doing for my kids”.
This scenario is repeated daily, all across the modern world, in city after city, neighborhood after neighborhood, and family after family, regardless of class, race, ethnic background, or education. Who hasn’t seen or at least heard of a common situation where one has everything while another feels left out of every opportunity, not able to get ahead and someone else appears to excel in every aspect of life’s challenges.
Upon reading Sacred Scripture and digesting the word faith until it is ready to burst the seams of the brain, a person experiencing all of the above tragedies says; “When will this all stop and where is God in all my difficulties”? “Doesn’t He care”?
We are all aware of the quote; “Why do bad things happen to good people”? There never has been a reasonable answer like having a book explaining every possible negative that can seemingly occur at any given moment and to any one of us who are alive in the world today. It certainly takes faith and the attribute that goes along with it; Trust in God’s Providence. “But how”, one may ask, “do I seek God’s Presence and expect to rise above the very weight of adversity when the prayers don’t appear to be heard or certainly not answered”? “How can I understand what this Trust is all about”?
Once I was asked to pray for a relative who had suddenly been diagnosed with a severe malady, away on vacation, and as my head was cradled in my hands a vision appeared indicating a woman lying on a hospital gurney with a man dressed in white, his back to me, and placing his right hand on her stomach some form of liquid seemed to exit her body and a voice said: “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust”. She was brought back to Pittsburgh, went to the hospital and found that whatever problem had been there, was now gone with no apparent sign it ever existed. Trust has become a mantra for me. It is also something the Lord seeks for us to believe in as well.
Did you ever sit down to a giant puzzle and after spreading all the pieces on a very large table look at the picture on the box, wondering where to begin. There are so many different colors, images of landscape formations with trees, flowing water, birds, and clouds and of course captions in more than one part of the puzzle. With little patience one could never begin to assemble so many little pieces to form one final picture that the box reflects.
Our life, it appears, can be viewed as a giant puzzle with many different scenarios forming exciting pieces to be attached one to another; as in rich helping the poor, educated persons working with illiterate people, healthy assisting sick persons, and people of faith teaching unbelievers. Has God in His Divine way given some a lot in order to share with others who have nothing? This could be another story like the “Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri in a way that really makes sense as to why some have and others have not.
Throughout the four gospel accounts, especially the Synoptics, Jesus warns against taking the gifts of the Holy Spirit and sticking them in our pocket instead of investing. The cursing of the Fig tree is one. Not producing the fruit when we could. A couple about one servant burying his master's money. It goes on and we are not to hide our gifts but instead put them to good use for those around us, especially the poor.
Only when each of us can be placed in the proper spot of the puzzle, one for another, will the Divine Puzzle become like the picture on the box. That picture is the kingdom of God, and we are the missing pieces until joined together, as God has ordained.