I don't understand. Why do the good die young? I have lost a friend who was the best person I know. And I can think of plenty of not-so-good people who are living it up. Where is the justice? Can you make any sense of this upside down world?
Let me tell you a story.
A great debate once raged in heaven. It was over a most beautiful and precious new soul that G-d had created. The angels debated what should be done with this soul. One group of angels demanded that this soul remain in heaven. "She is too pure, too holy to face the ugliness of the lowly world," they said. "Who knows what will happen to her in a world of temptation and evil. This soul must stay with us here."
But the other group of angels said the exact opposite: "Indeed this soul glows with a unique divine glow. But for that very reason she must go down to earth. For imagine the beauty and goodness this soul can bring to a dark world. What good is there in keeping such a soul in heaven? Let her descend to earth and shine her light there."
And so they argued back and forth, each side unshakable in their view. Until it became clear that they could not resolve the issue themselves, they needed a Higher Authority. The case was brought before G-d Almighty. The angels stated their arguments before the heavenly court. G-d listened to the two opinions -the first group of angels arguing that this unspoiled soul is too holy to be plunged into the lowly world, the second countering that the world needs such souls more than anything.
And this was G-d's response:
"Indeed, it is sad to send such an immaculate soul into such a dark world. But this is My will. I only created darkness so souls like this one can transform darkness into light. The whole purpose of creation was that the lowly world be refined by the good deeds of mortal human beings. This cannot be achieved by souls in heaven. It can only be achieved through souls in bodies. And so even this most perfect and pure soul must descend to earth."
The first group of angels, who requested for the soul to remain in heaven, were disappointed. They couldn't fathom how such a spiritual being could be expected to survive such a physical world. G-d turned to them and said, "As for your request to keep this soul up here, I will grant it partially. Though she must leave us and go down to earth, it will not be long before she will return to us. Her sojourn on earth will be brief. Such a brilliant soul will not need long to fulfil her mission. Soon she will be free to come back to heaven."
G-d then turned to the second group and asked, "Are you satisfied with that? Do you accept that this soul can only be on earth for a limited time?"
The angels replied, "Yes we do. Every day that she is on earth is a blessing."
When a loved one passes away, we feel we have lost something precious. We are left with a gaping hole in our heart, and we often wonder why they were taken away from us. But at the same time we can be grateful for the very fact that they were given to us in the first place. We are blessed to have such beautiful souls in our lives. The world is privileged to have such heavenly guests come down on earth. And even if it can only be for a short while, we will take whatever we can get.
In time all souls will be reunited. In the meantime, let us be thankful for the gift of every day.