Sunday, September 12, 2010

“July 15, 1944”

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet, I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”
From Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Just a few weeks after writing this, Anne Frank and her family were discovered in their hiding place and taken to Nazi concentration camps. No doubt, you know the rest of the story.

When I read this as a freshman in high school, I didn’t know the rest of the story. I assumed that she made it out alive or otherwise how had her diary survived. When I finished the epilogue, I was crushed, devastated. How could such a young vibrant optimist teenager meet such a horrible end? And why? What kind of God lets these things happen?

I wish I could give you an answer that would satisfy you, let you say, “ah-ha, I see now why suffering occurs.” I don’t have that answer and no one this side of heaven has it either.

So how are we supposed to deal with injustice, unimaginable horrors, debilitating pain? I try to turn it over to God. I say a prayer that goes something like: “God, I don’t understand why you are putting me (or my loved ones or total strangers on the other side of the world) through this right now, but I have faith that you know what you are doing and that it is all part of your plan. Just give me (or them) the strength to make it through another day.”

Does it really help? Sometimes, sometimes not. But when we have nothing else, we have to hang onto our faith.

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