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July 6, 2013

The wonder of ‘Why’ in a world filled with incomprehensible troubles; the disquieting sense of wrongness we feel as we peruse the newspaper or watch the same on some electronic media and our hearts cry out seeking an answer, but none is found. Philosophers of every ilk seek to provide at least something to lessen the angst we feel through their platitudes and some pursue such solace through various chemicals that alter within them their sense of reality. Others, unable to endure what they see and unable to understand, escape this reality by creating their own. Still, ‘Why’ lingers in all of our minds and, for the most part, remains unanswered.
Those who have read my blog before know my view of the world is often filtered through the faith I have in Christ and the Scriptures. This is done without apology for apart from that faith the person that is Tony would be much different than he is today. My perceptions therefore are different than most and I recognize that, but hope that what is shared of my thoughts will at least provide dialogue as we all travel through life.
So, am I going to try and unravel ‘Why?’ No, while many have sought to answer this timeless question, which is something that is definitely above my pay-grade (as I heard often when in the Navy). My belief is that it is the wrong question; we should be asking ‘Who’ rather than ‘Why.’ In this life there will always be ‘Whys’ and they will, for the most part remain as unanswerable as a three year olds repetitive, ‘Why?’(parents will understand that reference). No, ‘Why’ is definitely beyond the scope of this or any other blog or treatise, but ‘Who’ is something that I am acquainted with through my life journey.
In 1987 I was what the world would consider a successful person in my chosen field; as a nurse and paramedic I enjoyed professional respect from my peers and was in the enviable position of having to consider competing job offers either of which would fulfill long dreamed of goals. My wife and I were looking at purchasing a house in the Charlotte area and had stumbled across one that was everything any dreams of avarice could desire for a reduced price as the then owner had to relocate to the West Coast for a promotion. Yes, life was good and I was in the catbird seat, but then a hawk showed up!
Over 26 years later I look back on the person I was then, the dreams and aspirations that made up Tony and have to shake my head. The ‘hawk’ that showed up was a felony indictment that resulted in the loss of everything in my life except for my beloved wife, Kathy. Career, respect, friends and over time even family, all vanished leaving me asking ‘Why’ as prison walls surrounded me in their cold, uncaring embrace. No one there cared for my angst and I realized that no one had answers for the ‘Why’ as well as even the guards and officials wrestled with their own ‘Why’ as well. Where could I turn to seek, if not answers to ‘Why,’ at least find some relief from the torment hammering at me?
Memories came to me of a voice that did seek to reach out to me while I was at UNC-Chapel Hill, teaching me not about ‘Why,’ but ‘Who.’ James Abrahamson ( was the lead pastor at the Chapel Hill Bible Church that was meeting at that time in Girard Hall on campus; I went there at the invitation of a co-worker named Malcolm who was a gentle warrior for Jesus, pointing those he met to the One that answered ‘Who’ for him. Sitting in that crowded dormitory, memories of what Jim and Malcolm had shared with me came back to me and I turned to a dusty though like new copy of the Bible I had with me (it had sat unused for years in a bookcase at home) and began my journey of faith through surrendering my life to the Truth I found therein.
That was over 25 years ago and you will never hear me claim to have answered all the questions I still have, nor do is there any special wisdom within me. In my deepest, darkest times the ‘Who’ of Scripture was there and continues today to lead me and guide me when I will hear Him (yeah, still I have times when I choose not to listen). No the ‘Why’ is still there (at times even more so!), but as the psalmist discovered and wrote about in Psalm 139, the ‘Who’ of Scripture is always there and will always be there. He will lead us to the place where there will be no more ‘Why.’

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