On our way home from school I decided to break the news to Ethan. He had only one question, “Why Dad?”
Listening to all the talk about Miguel Cabrera and thinking about my own family’s history with alcohol and drug abuse, I am realizing that all of us are asking the same question. We feel a lot like this:
You know what though? We don’t want to hear the answer. Why would a man who has a great wife sleep around? Why would a person with a family who loved him turn to drink? Why would a kid with everything in front of her slice up her arms? Why does a kid with a great future waste it away sitting on a couch getting high?
We are constantly left with the question, “Why Dad?”
The answer, while simple, is profound. The answer, while simple, sounds weak coming off the tongue. The answer, while simple, is not what we want to admit to.
The answer is that the world is broken. Each of us are broken. There is a cloud of stink that sticks to us and we can’t shake it.
Some of us can go about hiding it really well, for a while.
Some of us can even hide it for our whole lives, but deep down we know it’s there.
What bothers most of us is that we know, “…but by the grace of God go I”.
What keeps any of us from doing these things? What keeps us from living out our brokenness in such a way that leaves us alone in a jail cell?
It seems like there are two are things. The first is that there is someone in our lives who is willing to fight for us. They make it clear that they are with us and for us no matter what. For me, it was my mother. I remember when my mom and dad were divorced and her telling us, “You will not become ‘those’ kids. Your Dad and I love you and we expect that you will become successful, hardworking, good men. This divorce is not an excuse for anything.”
She backed it up. Over and over.
The second is that there comes a point where individuals take responsibility for their own lives. There was a time, for me it was college, that each of us have to decide how we are going to live and whether or not we will take full responsibility for our actions. For those of us don’t get to that place we become like this:
So, how did I answer the question, “Why Dad?”
I told Ethan that we live in a broken world that is filled with broken people. Sometimes this brokenness gets the better of them and they do things they don’t want to do. That’s why we have each other and that’s why we need each other. Then I told him we need to pray for everyone we know who’s broken and hurting because God really does care. That’s why Jesus came here and that’s why Jesus died and rose again.
Because God, really does care.
How would you answer?