Everything Will Be All Right

Everything will be all right. That is true for Memorial Day, it is true for tornadoes … and it is true for the storms the Church is facing.

“I want to remember your big smile and your favorite saying to me – ‘Everything will be all right,’” a friend wrote on a remembrance page for Army Sgt. Andrew J. Derrick.

Derrick was killed by enemy fire near Baghdad on Sept. 23, 2005.

“The last time we talked I was so upset,” posted a friend of Army Pfc. James Lambert. “You told me no matter what keep my head up, ‘You’re a great girl. Everything will be all right.’ We left it at that.”

Lambert was killed in Fallujah on May 25, 2004.

“Everything will be all right.”

Wherever you find tragedy – even unfixable tragedy – you find one person saying to another, “Don’t worry. It will be all right.”

Roff_Oklahoma_TornadoTime magazine tells the story of Cheley Stewart, a tornado survivor who turned up at a shelter in Oklahoma City.

Her house had been torn in two. She was looking for somewhere better for her three kids to stay. “It’s like a war zone in there,” Stewart said, and then comforted her 6-year-old: “It’s crazy, I know. But everything will be all right.”

For human beings hope is an absolute necessity. We can’t tolerate a world without hope. We say “everything will be all right” even when it does not appear to be even remotely true.

But it always feels true.  Somehow, the comfort the mom offers her child is not empty wishful thinking. Those soldiers’ words sound comforting, even after their death.

“Everything will be all right,” is almost a proof for the existence of God. If there is no God then the universe wasn’t designed by love; it emerged from chaos. Not only is there no reason to suppose things will be all right, an intelligent person should expect them to get worse.

But if there is a God, I can say, “Don’t worry. It will be all right,” in the middle of the storm or in my dying breath. God is in charge. His way will win in the end. He is there for us above and beyond even death.

If there is a God, everything will be all right. Even Catholics in America in 2013 can say that.

Has our government denied the right to life to the weak, and is now ready to move on to the right to religious expression of those who would defend the weak? No worries. Secularists always do that … and God is never stopped by their guillotines and gulags and gag-orders.

Has the whole word seemed to have gone crazy, equating any sexual morality with oppression? The same thing happened before in ancient times … and the destructive empty promise of sexual excess drove people into Christianity.

Has the world seemed to dismiss religion altogether, convincing themselves that our beliefs are ridiculous and primitive and that soon everyone will become “enlightened” atheists like them? Come on. They have always thought of themselves as the enlightened and us as the fools. But from St. Michael to Noah, from Moses to Mary, from St. Paul to John Paul, the fools have always turned out to be the wise ones after all.

There are terrible, frightening storms on God’s earth. But they can never root out God or make the earth any less his. He is always there, rebuilding and reassuring, no matter what.

Bring it on, world. We aren’t afraid. Everything will be fine.

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes, author of The Rosary of Saint John Paul II and The Fatima Family Handbook, is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Kansas and hosts The Extraordinary Story podcast about the life of Christ. A former reporter in the Washington, D.C., area, he served as press secretary of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman and spent 10 years as executive editor of the National Catholic Register newspaper and Faith & Family magazine. His work frequently appears in Catholic publications such as Aleteia.org and the Register. He and his wife, April, have nine children and live in Atchison, Kansas.