Why do bad things happen?

As both a parent and a person who wants life to be fair, I hate that I cannot explain why bad things happen. I think about children who are abused. I think about parents who have lost their child(ren). I think about young widow(er)s. I think of broken marriages and relationships. I think about people lacking health insurance who owe 100k in medical bills. I think about those out of work or underemployed struggling to pay their bills. I think about people suffering from horrible diseases, deformed in some way, or addicted to drugs. I think about countries so poor that some may not eat for days or have clean drinking water. I think about places where war and strife are constant. I think about people right here in the US killing each other.


As someone who believes in God, I tell myself that our life on earth is but a brief moment compared to eternity, whatever that is. And that we live in an imperfect world. And that we all have free will. But sometimes those explanations are not enough. They certainly can't explain it all away.

I was talking to my neighbor yesterday, and almost a year and a half after the death of her husband, she does not feel any more at peace. She continues to miss her husband immensely, and she cries pretty much every day.

And I think of Amy from Callapitter, who, as she said in her blog post today, not only has to get through this Christmas without her children, but every Christmas after that too.

Some say we place too much emphasis on sports or celebrity. But I say that gives many of us a much-needed escape. I would rather lament the Steelers heady collapse than think about this deep(er) stuff. Of course, I cannot explain either.

I would love to hear from anyone and everyone, regardless of religious beliefs or lack thereof, to see how they make sense of it all.

In the meantime, I am going to continue to be optimistic, count my blessings, and do the right thing, as best I can.


Sherri said…
I just sort of closed my last post with the same musings. Must be because it is a season of wondering "why", I think - for those of us who care. I have no answers. The more I think about sweet, innocent, good people hurting so badly or losing so much or even having so little, it just baffles me. There are too many rotten people reaping benefits meant to be shared, you know? I am acutely aware, this season (each year), of the people who deserve so much more than they have (emotionally, financially - whatever), and... I'm bothered by the people I see daily who truly treat friends and family badly - and consistently do so. Why? I don't know. I certainly admire your thoughts, however, and really appreciated your post. I will be interested to see additional thoughts in this.
Mel said…
I ponder the same thing. I keep coming back to free will. If some have free will, then all have it. If some choose the wrong things, then others feel the effects o those choices. Permitting bad is the only way God can also permit freedom.

Not a satisfying response, even for me. But that is what gets me through without losing my mind. That, and the hope that someday I will have true answers and understanding.
Facie said…
I don't understand why people are really, really bad, but I guess I get the free will part. Most of the time I just accept that there are bad people in the world (or even just people who can and should be nicer).

And I am mostly okay with people who have so much yet don't appreciate it. When my cobra subsidy goes away next month and I go on Brian's awful insurance, I might have a different attitude!

The part that I really have trouble wrapping my head around is when some natural disaster strikes and hundreds or thousands die (or even why Amy's kids had to die, and she is sadly not alone in her situation). I am not sure I will ever understand those thins.

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