American President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945) poses with his dog Fala and a young girl named Ruthie Bie (later Ruth Bautista) on the porch at Top Cottage, Hyde Park, New York, February 1941. Bie was the granddaughter of the property caretaker, and the photo is one of only two that show Roosevelt in his wheelchair. (Photo by Margaret Suckley/PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
Life sometimes don’t turn out as we plan. It begins uneventful enough, just as we think it should. No ripples. No bumps in the road. Smooth sailings all the way. Then on a dime, something happens to change the trajectory forever. Joni Eareckson-Tada dove into shallow water and broker her neck, leaving her a quadriplegic. At the height of his popularity, Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio. When Bethany Hamilton was fourteen, she took her surfboard to catch a few waves and was attacked by a shark, losing her arm.
When tragedy happens, our lives–and faith–can be rocked. How could a loving God let this happen? Why did this have to happen to me?
Definition: a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding
Watching as the US hockey team beat the USSR’s team (Miracle on Ice) at the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980. I was focused.
Watching my firstborn pick up a leaf for the first time. He looked at it, turning it over and over, taking in all its splendor. I had never experienced anything as sacred. I was focused.
Having a doctor hold my hand and say, “I’m sorry, Mrs. Luftig, but you have a tumor on your brain about the size of my fist. Do you want a priest? Could I get the hospital chaplain for you?” Focused here, too.