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Matt trudged his way up into the hills. He came here every time his life took a turn for a worse. The last time he had come here was eleven years ago, when his son and daughter both died in a school bus accident.
Now, he had come here because his youngest, Tommy, had been diagnosed with leukemia. He couldn’t believe how things were turning out. Hopefully, Matt could sort things out up here, on his mountain.
He reached the summit. Surprisingly, there was an aged man with thick white hair standing at the edge, observing the rising sun. He had his back to Matt, and had a cane in his left hand. This mountain was steep, and very hard to climb. It didn’t seem possible this man could have gotten here without assistance.
Matt walked up to the man and stood at his side. He stood there for a couple of minutes before the old man spoke.
“Why have you come here Matt?”
Matt was surprised again. “How do you know my name?”
“I know a lot of things Matt. Now, why have you come here?”
“Well, I come up here to think whenever something bad happens. This is my first time up here in eleven years,” Matt explained, “My twelve-year old son was diagnosed with leukemia, and eleven years ago, my other son and daughter were killed when their school bus fell into a ravine on a school trip.”
“That is very sad. I am sorry for your loss,” the man says, “But everything happens for a reason, even death and sickness.”
“I don’t know about that. It seems the only reason it happens is to hurt me and them.”
“If your son wasn’t killed in the accident, he would have been shot to death five years later in a high school shooting. If you daughter wasn’t killed, she would’ve contracted cancer in college, and died when she was thirty,” the man explained. His voice didn’t waver.
“What is wrong with you?” Matt asked.
“I am merely speaking the truth. Everything happens for a reason. For example, the reason my book was messed up, was to encourage people to be good, and to test their faith.”
The man looked at him as if he were an idiot. “Why, the Good Book of course. Your son will pull through. Also, there are two people who would like to say something to you.”
The man pointed in the other direction. Matt turned. Standing there was his son and daughter. Matt’s eyes grew wide and filled with tears. He hugged the two and told them how much he loved them.
“We’re alright Dad. That nice man gave us a home,” Matt’s son said.
“That’s good, very good,” Matt croaked through tears. He released them. He turned back to the man.
“Thank you! Tell me who you are!” Matt said.
The man smiled in a familiar way. His eyes twinkled. “I’m just someone who you lost faith in, then regained it.”
The man disappeared, along with Matt’s children. On the floor was a folded piece of paper where the man had stood. Matt reached down and picked it up. On it the outside, written in perfect calligraphy, was Matt’s full name. Matt opened it up.
I’m sorry I put you through so much. I promise that you will never go through pain like that ever again.