I sometimes get asked how I answer the ‘why me?’ question. As my my tremors increase and my movements become slower, it seems a particularly and painfully relevant question. Why me, when I have given my life to serving Christ? Why me, when there’s so much more to do?
The truth is, I have never really asked the question, at least not with a sense of anguish or outrage. Lurking behind “why me?” is an assumption that the world is orderly, that God has everything under control, and that whatever happens is an outworking of God’s good and perfect will. Only in such a universe, where everything, even suffering and evil, has a divine purpose, does “why me?” make sense.
That’s not the universe I perceive. To ask “why me?” is to fail to appreciate the true evil of evil – it’s mind numbing purposelessness. It has no reason, no goal, no order. It is random, chaotic, disordered. And it has invaded our universe and our lives, scarring and undermining the order that is there.
I don’t therefore see any divine purpose behind my Parkinsons. Rather it is symptomatic of the random and chaotic realities of life. So rather than “why me?” I ask “why not me?” I am as good a candidate as any for the mutant gene/s or whatever it is that causes Parkinsons.
For me the real question is “who will I be?” Touched by the chaotic nature of suffering, will I give in to despair, fall prey to the illusion that reality is all randomness and chaos, or will I celebrate the order that sits alongside the disorder? For every tremor that shakes my body, there is a brilliant sunrise, a neural pathway that allows me to think, a friend who ties the fishing knot when I can’t, the love of Sandy, Ashley, Jessica and Lachlan, opportunities to make a difference. These and more are signals to me that my world is neither all chaos nor all ordered. It is both. And the beauty of it is that unlike the chaos of evil, the order allows me to live purposefully.