The other morning I was in line at McDonald’s watching people and wondering what was taking so long. I noticed a woman over in the next line step up to the counter; she kind of flipped her hand out in front of her face. For some reason her action caught my attention. Immediately, the woman at the register handed the customer a paper and a pen. She wrote on the paper and handed it, along with a five dollar bill, back to the cashier; not a word was spoken.

I stood there wondering what it would be like not to be able to speak. Then I ordered a large drink and a yogurt parfait and as usual told the cashier to have a great day. From my booth I watched as the woman walked across the parking lot to her car. I felt sad; I’m not sure if my sadness was a result of seeing the woman who couldn’t speak or if I was sad because I take my very blessed life for granted.

Sunday I spent part of the afternoon with a wonderful church family as they gathered around a dying wife and mother. As we prayed and reflected on Barbara her eldest son said, through a curtain of tears, that he did not understand why bad things happen to good people. A question of the ages and one without an answer. Why can I speak, often entirely too much, and the woman at McDonald’s can’t utter a single word? Why will she never be able to say “I love you” to her child? Why did the son’s mom, a godly woman of amazing faith, die way too young? As I grow older I discover many more questions that I can’t seem to answer. However, I find that watching people often leads to life-clarifying experiences. Lord, why me and not those two women?

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