The Calling, the Cost, the Joy
I was again devastated. Again the question of “Why?” emerged from deep within me. I could not grasp how God could take away the two most important people in my life, especially when I was so very young. I had done nothing wrong. I did not deserve this. Day after day I would ask God, “Why? Why me?” I also asked him countless times to return my parents to me. I remember wish- ing many times, “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight.” Each time I thought those words, I asked for my mom and dad. I told no one of this wish. It never happened.
To this day I have not received an answer to my initial question, but as I continually questioned God, I slowly found myself pray- ing, and in the midst of this prayer, I heard him say to me, “It is I. Do not be afraid” (John 6:20). “I will not leave you orphaned; I will come to you” (John 14:18, NRSV). “I am here. I love you.”
And come to me he did: through the Scriptures, prayer, and the sacraments. I slowly came to know that “the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them / and lead them to springs of life-giving water, / and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17). I began to feel the Lord’s lov- ing presence, and I began to ask him—subconsciously, but I asked him nonetheless—“Who are you, sir?” (Acts 9:5). As I listened to him in prayer, I came to know him, and I recognized him as “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
Growing up without my parents was very difficult indeed, and their deaths had a very profound impact on me. All of my per- sonality traits and qualities can be traced back to their deaths in