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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)

TITLE: Why or Who
By toronto49 Aird
05/29/06


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The automated doors leading into the emergency waiting room hissed open and in the doorway stood the young surgeon dressed in his OR scrubs. Tired eyes searched the room for the Martinez family to deliver the news. Seeing the young man and woman seated next to me, he began to approach slowly. His body language preceded the dreadful news he was about to share. Pablo sprang to his feet as the medical messenger approached him. Esperanza, his wife, sat quietly looking up into the face of the doctor. Her young face seemingly had aged over night from the exhaustion of the night’s vigil. “Mr. and Mrs. Martinez,” he began, “Alejandro slipped away from us during the surgery. His trauma was too massive and we…” His voice riddled with emotion trailed off.

With her last ounce of strength Maria screamed, buried her head into her hands and wept uncontrollably while murmuring, “Mijo, mijo.” Juan, standing by his wife, laid his calloused hand upon her shoulder. His beautiful complexion now drained of its rich brown color angrily looked over at me and asked, “Porque, why? Why did God allow this to happen?”

Part of my required “spiritual on the job training” for the summer, took me from the ivory palaces of seminary in Southern California to far West Texas. As a young seminarian, our debates often surrounded such hypothetical scenarios regarding the providence of God and His purposes during times of pain, crisis and protection of the innocent. Ashamedly, arguments were sterile, void of human feeling and anguish and often a forum to showcase one’s spiritual knowledge. Now, far from those debates and the protection of ignorance, I found myself completely immersed in the pain of a grieving family over the loss of their sweet little boy by the name of Alejandro. The question posed by the heartbroken father was not hypothetical, but all too real and all too common. A distraught parent wanted to know why a loving God allowed a drunken driver to steal the life of his precious four year old son.

I had no answer nor, at the time, was Pablo searching for one. He was angry. He was angry at the doctor, the hospital, the drunk driver, life and God. He had every right to be. A senseless loss of lives had occurred. A young innocent child’s life cut tragically short because a nameless drunken driver had lost his life to a mind and heart numbing drug. We wept together.

I often think back about that powerful cornerstone event in my life. Eventually, I lost touch with the Martinez family, but not before I had a chance to respond to Pablo’s question. Reliving those moments in time that would bind us together for forever, I asked if he remembered asking me why. With a voice that still was in the moment of that pain he replied, “Yes, pastor, I do.” I replied, “We were studying the Book of Job and in the latter chapters Job eventually questioned God regarding his trials. Eventually, God responded to his questions by reminding Job of His power and his position as Creator but never answering Job’s question of why. God simply affirmed his Deity.” I continued, “Pablo, it is not why do things happen, but trusting and knowing The Who in our lives and sheltering ourselves in His love, purpose and power.”

Once again we remembered Alejandro and wept.


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david grant06/02/06
Right on theme. The mystery of tragedy and purpose. Sometimes all we can do is weep and surrender to Him who has a plan that is not reveiled to us.

Good write. Good job!~
Sandra Petersen 06/03/06
This is a piece, as David stated, right on topic, and a question and emotions that anyone who has lost a young relative or suffered losses like Job would have.

A couple of things interrupt the flow. Within two paragraphs, the couple's names change from Pablo and Esperanza to Juan and Maria, and then the father is referred to as Pablo again. Be careful about using the same adverb twice in a paragraph (next to last paragraph, the word 'eventually'); it doesn't disrupt the flow as much as the name change, but is a small 'bump' in the piece.

Your opening paragraphs captures the intense emotions of the young surgeon and the family very well. Very good job!