The Purpose of Life

“On the street I saw a small girl cold and shivering in a thin dress, with little hope of a decent meal. I became angry and said to God, “Why did you permit this? Why don’t you do something about it”. For a while God said nothing. That night he replied quite suddenly,

“I certainly did something about it. I made you”.

 You could not imagine all I have seen. Perhaps you have even seen it too. Children walking the halls of a hospital, teddy in one hand and their life support in the other. Someone’s child. Or what about the man I see on my way to work every morning. The one that has the same backpack he carries with him. His entire life is in that backpack. He smiles at me every morning, his head bowed down. I look at him and wonder where he lives, where he sleeps, what life did to him that he ended up this way. Or what about the woman I see sitting outside the store, waiting for someone to give her a minute of their time. I get out of my car and watch everyone walking by. She seems invisible to them. Surely they can see her?

I stop and say hello. It surprises her. But she surprises me too. I ask her if she is okay. Yes she says. I ask her how long she has been there. She says for far too long. She does not ask me for money, she does not ask me for anything. She is looking for a moment where she doesn’t feel invisible. She is looking for someone to see her.

“God, please fix this”. It’s all I want to say. If you ask for help, God is supposed to hear and answer your prayers.

But, why on earth then, did he make us? We are the ones that need to help one another. We look at the horrors of the world and wonder, “Why doesn’t someone do something about that?”.

It’s time to wake up and realize that we are those long awaited somebodies. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

I hope you build something inside of you that is not selfish or proud. I hope you build from that tiny little spot inside of you that burns quietly for others.

Next time you see someone struggling, I hope you find the time to help them. It’s so easy to walk by and pretend you don’t see them. It’s so easy to act like none of this is happening. Anne Frank said, “No one has ever become poor by giving”.

Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them up. Too many of us get wrapped up in this fake world. Big houses, fancy cars, counting pennies… what for? And just because you drive a Audi, doesn’t make you superior. I can crash your Audi over a cliff and then what? What’s in your heart is all that matters. If you aren’t a good person on the inside, everything you build around you will bury you. Your greed and pride is nothing to me. Nothing. It does not intimidate me nor does it impress me. In fact, I pity you. I feel sorry that you have to live such a meaningless life.

There was a woman I visited on a trip to Europe long ago. She lived in a house on the same street as my parent’s house. She had next to nothing. Her house was barely standing, she had no running water, no food except for what her garden produced, and her health was deteriorating. I remember thinking how lucky I was. As we left I asked my parents who she was. A relative perhaps? No, my mother said. “During the war when we had no access to any food, she was the one that gave you milk from her cow”. This woman, a complete stranger to me, saved me in the simplest but most generous way. During a time where anger controlled the entire country and fear drove everyone out – she gave a child comfort. She saved me in the kindest way. She had nothing back then; a war taking everything from her. It amazes me that someone with nothing can still give.

“My dad used to say, ‘This is what your right arm’s for, son,’” John said. “This is the time and these are the people and I’d give my right arm to be a light, a comfort, to them. I know you would, too. In whatever form it takes. Use these materials and make something great. Do it on faith, knowing you probably won’t be around to see how the story ends.”

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