Why do you always forget us?
Why do you forsake us so long?
Lamentations 5:20 NIV
Why is a rich word with various uses and meanings. It compels is to ask, to understand, to seek explanation, to delve into mysteries and express surprise. It drives us to uncover secrets and express hesitation, to dig into baffling problems and express approval or disapproval. (Such as the question: Why did you do this or that?) Why helps us name enigmas or express impatience, always wanting more details, more openness, more—there is always more to know or to solve.
Why is a useful question, but also can put us on the defensive. Why are you questioning my motive is the stance I often take when someone poses the why question.
Recently in my journal keeping class, I offered myself and my student, this series of questions:
How am I?
When am I?
Where am I?
What am I?
Who am I?
Why am I?
An interesting exercise, and I left why for last because I thought it would be most difficult to answer. I jotted answers to each one; more of a list than long narrative answers.
Here’s some highlights from my answers in order of the list above: I am okay, up and down, struggling. I am 2020, August, 55 years old, COVID-19. I am in my house, St. Louis, on zoom. I am tired, creative, a woman, an artist and writer, weary, word lover and inspirational. I am Kel Rohlf, “lily,” friend, child, loved, cherished, respected, cared for and sought out. And then it was time to answer: Why am I?
And the recurring answer was “to be” or “because” this or that. I am because GOD thought of and created me. I am here for a reason. I have purpose in my various roles. The answer to why is often because. Maybe next time we will use the prompt: “I am because…” and see what mysteries are revealed.
I invite you to set aside some time to look up the definition of why for yourself. It’s a rich word. If you like to journal, ask your self the above questions and possibly uncover some secrets about YOU.