Starting Point
This week's stories | Home Page
Issue Date:  January 13, 2006

Starting Point


He has a twitch to his eyes that suggests something is wrong, something deeper and more significant than the involuntary movement of his eye muscles. He needs some sort of healing far down inside him.

It wasn’t always so. As a child he laughed easily, played pranks on his older siblings, was the darling of his aging parents -- and that delighted him. But something went wrong, not in the immediate and obvious way a child breaks his leg or arm or gets a high fever, but in the slow and hidden way cancer sneaks into one’s blood, bones and flesh and waits for years before making a move. It can take forever to recognize that something inside is amiss.

That’s the way it was with him. A cancer of the human soul that lay still as a seed for years and then grew inside him until there was little room for love that wasn’t remorse, or hope that wasn’t grim determination. Now he lives from day to day and sometimes less than that, giving up for a while and giving in to drink or drugs or deliberate unconsciousness.

His sister, the one he calls, “God’s special child,” feels the increasing burden of worry that he will never be “right” again and has asked God more than once what his intentions could have been in regard to her brother. So far the only answer she’s gotten is similar to Job’s. She’s seen the crashing of waves and felt the blazing heat of the sun that rises each day. While it seemed to be enough for Job, she believes there must be more of an answer out there and works each day to make the world a better place believing that absolutely everything can’t be left to God alone.

She’s almost right. Everything shouldn’t be left to God, only those things we can’t do for each other. She may never heal her brother, but someone else with her same convictions may.

Fr. George R. Szews is a campus pastor in Eau Claire, Wis.

National Catholic Reporter, January 13, 2006

This Week's Stories | Home Page | Top of Page
Copyright  © The National Catholic Reporter Publishing  Company, 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO   64111
All rights reserved.
TEL:  816-531-0538     FAX:  1-816-968-2280   Send comments about this Web site to: