My heart was heavy with the news that a longtime friend of mine had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Already it was progressing rapidly, and every time I thought of her and the good times we had when we were young, my eyes filled up with tears and I could not make them stop. Her life is changing now, and there is nothing I or anyone can do to stop it. In less than a year this two-income family has become a one-income family, and her loving partner of more than 35 years is running their business alone, and working terribly hard to keep things going and provide for her care. I just could not believe it; I just kept saying in my heart "This can't be happening – it just can't be."
But it is, and I keep asking myself, How can this happen to such good people? How can life be so unpredictable and so unfair? I wish with all my heart that I could understand.
The Course in Miracles says that everything that happens in our lives, we ourselves have called into manifestation. Our souls have reasons that the human mind may not know. Does this mean my dear friend's soul has chosen this experience for reasons of its own, and the person of her can only follow? This makes me feel afraid.
When I had cancer ten years ago, I knew it was a result of my determination to follow a course of intense stress and difficulty, seeking a stubborn goal. I was going faster and faster, harder and harder, into the wrong direction. It took cancer to turn me around, and when it happened, I knew I had done it myself – my soul had chosen it.
I felt betrayed by my own soul, and I was filled a fear - that it had chosen to hurt me, to take away my goal, and maybe even my life on earth. And then it became clear – I realized that life itself is the greatest goal, and the greatest gift, and I was afraid I had already thrown it away. Even though I did not deserve it, this time I was given a second chance. But what about all the others who are not?
As I often do now, I took my fears and doubts to the Inner Counselor, the still small voice within. In the deepening twilight, with silent tears, I sat in listening-prayer. I asked my question of God and the Inner Christ: How can this be? And is there anything that can help and heal?
As it almost always is, the answer I received was not what I expected.