IMG_6116I admit I have not read Kate Bowler’s books, not even the one whose title and editorial reviews, EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON–AND OTHER LIES I HAVE LOVED, led me to the thoughts I am sharing here.  As I get older the platitudes get thinner, like trying to breath at 14,000 feet, which is why I want to cling so much closer to the scripture and less to human wisdom.  and to real life folks who know what it is like to be gob smacked by LIFE on PLANET EARTH and then turn around to receive blessings they did not one thing to deserve.  I do pray more when I have been gob smacked,

Everything happens for a reason?
There are paths I have taken
Selfishly, without regard for consequences
Or foolishly despising the idea that I might
Stumble and fall head first into a pile of manure
Of my own making…S—t happens, nonsense
There are consequences to guzzling toxins,
Whether toxic thoughts, foods, attitudes, or people
The body, mind and spirit can only handle so much garbage
And yet I have indulged in garbage, taken it in
And poured it out. . .and fallen into it.

Everything happens for a reason?
Disease, pestilence, famine, poverty, EVIL with all caps?
Endlessly occurring all around
Pouring out on the masses
Coming to roost in folks we love
And on our enemies…well, maybe..NO
Trains derail, planes crash, Tsunamis batter
Cancer cells metastasize, joints ache, bones break
Outside the garden, where all was well
The world festers with weeds and thorns
Broken systems, broken people, including me.

So, perhaps the phrase—
Everything happens for a reason—
Softens the reality of life in a fallen state.
At any rate, like all platitudes it plays out best
When I apply it to someone else
The mother whose child has died—
the husband learning that his wife has Alzheimer’s—
the friend diagnosed with Stage lV cancer—
the family living in their car
Applying it to myself as life twists my insides
Doesn’t play out as well—Imagine that!
BUT if I look for God in the midst of brokenness
I do indeed find him there.


Everything happens for a reason?
Whether true or not, EVERYTHING that
Happens transforms me.
Presents choices. Presents an opportunity
To turn to God or turn away
To run, to hide, to stand
To rest in the assurances of God

Or restlessly fidget with my own inadequacies
While I may struggle with ‘everything happens for a reason’,
I do believe in everything that happens God works
To bring me closer to the Divine

So I can choose to believe in His grace or Whine
Somedays I waver between the two.
How about you?