The past week or so offered several occasions to test my personal faith and the existence of a faith-based belief system in general.
The tragic loss of lives that we have seen as a community and as a nation leave glaring holes, broken hearts and minds that question why.
Whether it be the loss of so many lives to the hands of a gunman who suffered from whatever mental problems that may emerge or the loss of a beautiful 23-year old woman who loved teaching Sunday School to a cancer she could not beat or the loss of a delightful 22-year old young man at WVU who was cut down by a driver who failed to stop, the question of "Why?" comes up again and again.
There is no answer to that question and the attempt to find such an answer can lead to (and probably rightfully so) anger, grief, heartbreak, frustration. The list goes on and as humans we can fall to the pressures of the feelings brought on by these losses or we can reach out to whatever faith-belief system we can hold onto to offer comfort and reason in an unreasonable situation.
There are many faiths, many beliefs and it is not for me to say which is right or wrong for any given individual; but I know that my personal faith this week leads me to know that those individuals who have been taken from us were taken for a reason. While I may not understand it, I believe it. I could never accept that their lives were simply snuffed out with no meaning, no hope.
Without my personal belief system, I could not find a reason for human existence. If one can simply be taken from the world at random, then what purpose does one serve? While not attempting to answer such a philosophical question, I can simply say that there is some reason. I do not know why we will never see Lauren Armentrout's beautiful smile again on this earth or why my daughter will never hear the laughter of her friend, Joe Dzuris again or why the families of those men and women who happened to be in the path of a bullet at the Navy Yard will never share another conversation with them. But I do know and fully believe that their lives were not random or without meaning. I walk on faith knowing that they have served their purpose here and moved on. And although I cry for their loss, I do not cry as one with no hope. That is the faith I lean on and hope that others have as well at times like these.