Unthinkable Tragedy

She showed up at my door unannounced and asked for a few minutes of my time. I readily agreed and just a few minutes later I was reeling from the story she told.

Within the last two hours her world had begun to spin apart. Suspicions had been confirmed. She was in the midst of an unthinkable tragedy. As I attempted to respond coherently, I found myself saying, “I am so sorry,” time and time again. I simply had no lofty words or healing phrases.

She was back and involved in common matters the next day. Clearly shaken, yet resolved to continue. I marveled at her resilience.

The next morning my phone rang early. “No need to be concerned,” she started and then she told me of another event in her unfolding story. Her unthinkable tragedy had grown — and in a way that made her options bleak.

Despite that, she was back at her place in a few hours. Her load was heavy from the suspicions realized and the drama that continued to pound her existence. Yet she moved forward. I expected her to begin to formulate strategies to address all of this. And I watched closely for the first signs of her breakdown.

Toward the end of the day, she came around to say goodbye. And she made mention of something that would have seemed innocuous on any other Friday. With a clear voice and a brave tone, she told me how she would meet this tragedy head-on. When others, including me, would have counseled her to move away, she turned into the face of the problem and announced she would not retreat.

God blesses us when we see people who, even in times of unthinkable tragedy and the complications that stack up, move back into the full force of the storm simply because the situation demands it and the cause is worthy.

I knew then that this was not an unthinkable tragedy — but the birth of an opportunity.

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