My mother likes to tell me that “God put me on this earth for a reason,” or liked to. There are a lot of things like that she used to say to me that she tries not to anymore, after my last few sorties into our conversational DMZ. I want it to feel welcome, like a level of acceptance I never expected to get, but that’s not what it feels like. She reflexively reaches to place an affectionate sign of the cross on my forehead at night and instead pulls back, eyes full of pain, and I can tell she doesn’t see the situation at all like I do.
It’s a common refrain, in its numerous forms. “God put you on this earth for a reason.” “You have to find what you’re here to do.” “Seek your destiny.” “God has a purpose for you.” Purpose. Purpose. Purpose.