All around us we see it; we hear it. Perhaps we experience it for ourselves. We are faced with situations for which we have no answers. Why do people suffer from cancer? Why do our loved ones die just when we need them the very most? Why is there unspeakable evil in the world? I am not here to give answers to all of these unanswerable questions. I don’t have a new philosophical theory that makes sense of everything. I don’t know what to say to a dear friend who has cancer. What can I say? Are there any words that can soften such a blow? If there were such words, I’d speak them; I’d shout them from the rooftop. I’d send them off in a tweet. But I am left feeling sad that cancer exists; that as humans we hurt others and make violence and abuse the foundations of relationships.
I can’t make cancer go away; I can’t soothe hurts. So, I do the most natural thing of all I cry. My heart is sad for my friend and for thousands of others I will never know. Some may seek comfort from a pill or a bottle but I hold to a faith in God. Many question why I have such faith. After all, they reason God being infinitely powerful could stop all evil. But he doesn’t. I believe that love is stronger than all the evil in the world. I can’t explain it away; we choose what we do and our actions have consequences. Just as there is light and dark, up and down, I reason that good has an opposite. I don’t claim to know why because I too have asked God that very question in the dark of the middle of the night. I choose to love those around me; I choose to celebrate life. I tell my friend with cancer I am here anytime she wants to talk, cry, or pray. I tell her how special she is and that I am glad I met her. I ask her about her favorite memories and we laugh over the silly moments in life.
Don’t feel you have to give hurting friends answers. Give the best gift you can, the gift of your love and friendship. Make the world a better place, spread some good, smile to a stranger, donate an hour to the library or soup kitchen or to your local school. It’s ok to cry let those who are hurting know that; do the most caring thing of all cry with them.