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Asking questions

June 4, 2009

Surviving ‘and thriving’ when bad things happen to good people

Sunbeams massaged their way over Allison Parks’ shoulders, as she savored her coffee and perused her copy of “The Shack.”The book, which details a conversation a man has with God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost after his young daughter is brutally murdered, sums up a concept that Parks struggles with. Why do sometimes monstrous things happen to good people?The question is even the topic of her capstone project. As a religion major, she looks at how a supposedly loving God could sit back and watch his son be tortured to death. But apart from the underlying theology of “The Shack,” or the Bible, this question speaks to Parks on a much more personal level.

When Parks’ mom was 8-years-old, her grandfather walked out on the family. From then on, Allison’s mother had to basically raise her two younger siblings, since her own mother fell into a deep depression.

Parks met her grandfather when she was young, and of course never brought up the topic. He died when she was in the fourth grade. And it’s not a topic her mother really wishes to discuss.

Still, questions haunt her. Why does this happen? Why did her grandfather abandon the family? What possible reason could God have for allowing this to happen to her mom?

“It was really difficult to deal with,” said the normally ebullient Parks in a quiet voice.

But some good did come out of it. Her mom quickly involved herself in ASB, track and field and summer parks and recreation programs, anything to escape the pressures at home. She married a good man, a raised a secure family for her children. She’s a hero to Parks for rising above that background.

“I guess I could say I have a bit of a charmed life so far,” she smiled.

Still, the questions haunt her.