Seeing good and evil

The virtues of witness

My faith took a turn for the better ten and a half years ago when something very sad happened. My brother Danny was struck by an automobile and died. During the three days in which I watched over him in the hospital, I was confirmed in my faith in Christ and God's mercy. As I sat by his bed in the middle of the night, with a certainty I did not know I possessed, I knew that our separation would be only temporary.

In the aftermath, I found myself far more tuned into the troubles and losses of those around me. As the poet William Wordsworth wrote when his brother drowned in 1807, "A deep distress hath humanized my soul." Danny's sudden passing had "humanized my soul" a bit. It was then that I began to suspect that sadness, suffering and even evil could, if faced squarely, reveal God's love and joy more perfectly.


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