THE DARK BEFORE THE DAWN
By Ellie Goldfon
Part 3 of 3
Ellie asks, “Why, me, Lord.”
Why me? This is a question which intrudes in all of our thoughts every once in a while. You wouldn’t even count yourself amongst humankind if you couldn’t admit to asking it sometimes. Lying in my bed and sitting in my wheelchair during the day, I had a very large allotment of time to ponder this question. As I mentioned, this wasn’t done as a moan, or, in a wailing fashion. I was genuinely perplexed and very put out by my unfortunate turn of circumstance.
The food on weekends was, in a word, less than stellar. The bountiful fare we enjoyed during the week was replaced by whatever was handy at the time. In one day, we would get a bowl of soup and a piece of bread, followed for dinner, by a half sandwich and a peach.
Near the beginning of my stay on a lackluster Sunday evening, when we received what was supposed to be a chicken salad sandwich for supper chock full of onions, I began to mutter under my breath. That particular day, I had been regaled with stories of the family reunion, of what they had to eat, of the beautiful church service in the little chapel in Ligonier, of the wonderful doings of the young people in the family, and of the delicious Hungarian pastries which were enjoyed by the crowd.
In tears as she had to say goodbye and return to her home in Florida, I can’t even begin to imagine what my dear cousin, Cindy, was envisioning.
And forget about what she was thinking. I wondered, why, Lord. Why, why, oh why. With a blossoming writing career in front of me, a lovely new home, so many loving and kind friends, and so much to live for, I demanded of God, why!
The voice of Jesus came to me, in His quiet and kind spirit. “I’m going to tell you why, my sweetie,” he said, very patiently. “It has been five years since your mothers passing. You were there to visit her each day, and you haven’t been able to absolve yourself of the guilt which wasn’t yours in the first place to own.”
He went on to explain that, by placing me in a very similar situation which would have its own positive outcome, I would be able to finally put the guilt to rest forever.
Awaking next morning to a truly rapturous sense of peace, wholeness, and well-being, my therapies no longer presented major challenges to me. Returning back home to Arizona, G. was replaced by Allison or Allie, as she enjoyed being called. Equally tough in her expectations but a truly kind and patient tutor, Ally wheeled me up to the parallel bars and had me exercise my sore leg with kicks, marches, front and back extensions and side to side swings. Grueling as these exercises were, I stepped up to the plate and got them done every afternoon. My reward? Why, a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie, of course.
So many of us challenge God by asking, why, when, what we ought to be asking is, why not! For sure, why the heck not. Adversity is simply the tool which builds our character, the foundation upon which each human’s spirit is molded and allowed to flourish.
If life presented itself as a giant bowl of rich tapioca pudding with whipped cream upon it, sure, we might want to dig into one or two spoonfuls of it. But consider that, without life’s ups and downs and major challenges, it would simply be a carbon copy. Praise God for the challenges He presents us with, thank Him for every new day, but especially, give thanks that none of us are carbon copies!