Why do bad things happen to good people? There have been sermons preached and books written and long discussions about this question. Instead of trying to answer it, I’m going to tell you a story.

I think I’m a good person. Not a perfect person, and maybe not even a person some people like to be around. I hope that when I’m no longer taking up space on this earth that when people talk about me, they will say that she was a good person.

Many not-so-great things have happened to me in my life. Some happened because I made wrong choices. But most of the really bad things that happened had nothing to do with the choices I made.

In 2015 I had a really bad thing happen. Gary and I were on our way home from a lovely day at the beach. We were stopped at a red light and a huge SUV slammed into us. We hit another SUV and that triggered two more cars getting hit and life has never been the same again.

The last thing either of us expected was a totaled car, my traumatic brain injury, and a move from Hawaii to Wisconsin when I could no longer do my job. My son and his wife were settled in Oshkosh and so that’s where we came.

I’ve never been a dog person. I swore I’d never get a dog. Not only did I give in and adopt the dog who saved my life, but I started volunteering and then working with the rescue shelter where I found my dog. Over the next four years I wrote doggy bios, redesigned the shelter’s logo, became their social media queen, wrote grants, created events, and anything else I could to help the little rescue that could. I did that until they ran out of money and steam. But before that happened, I wrote bios for 6,500 dogs and helped them all find homes.

So a very bad thing happened to a good person, that would be me, but from that bad thing came good things that would never have happened had it not been for the chain of events that started on June 15, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

I’d like to introduce you to my friend. Nick Harrison is an amazingly gifted and kind writer and editor. When he learned that Xochitl Dixon and her husband were moving from California to Wisconsin he introduced us to each other through Facebook. Lots of bad stuff happens on Facebook but this is not one of them.

It’s a long story, but suffice it to say that the bad thing that happened to me led to an incredibly good thing for Xochitl. Within days of moving here she and Alan adopted a four-month-old puppy she named Callie. It was truly a God thing that they arrived exactly when we had just gotten a litter of puppies that didn’t get snapped up in hours.

On one of her Facebook posts Xochitl said, “Carmen is the reason we have Callie the rescue dog from a kill shelter turned miracle dog then Service Dog then Service Dog featured in all my children’s picture books and more!”

If you are wondering why bad things happen to good people there are many reasons. But sometimes bad things happen to good people to put them into a situation they never dreamed of so that they can be part of a miracle.

Xochitl and Alan didn’t stay in the badger state too long. They packed up their belongings and Callie, the newly-minted service dog, and the three of them went back to California. The miracle of how Callie became a service dog for Xochitl is another great story. And now Callie is in a new book!

What Color is God’s Love is one of the most visually appealing books I’ve ever seen. And it’s an important book. Because the good and bad things that happen to people should never be because of the color of their skin. Every human was created by God to do good and to make a difference in our world.

I can’t say enough good things about this book. It needs to be in libraries and classrooms and I wish every child could have a copy in their own room. It’s truly that special.

Bad things happen to good people so that we can help good people who are going through bad things. Would I prefer living in Hawaii? Yep. But then Xochitl and Callie would never have met and the miracle would not have happened.