This has been a very heavy hearted week for the people in my online friends.
Two wonderful ladies, Alexandra and Miranda, each lost a parent last week. Another great couple celebrated the anniversary of their father who was taken too soon from cancer. I truly admire Cort and Katie. And now, Diana and her husband are in Dallas with their newborn boy Kaden–fighting for his life because of unforeseen heart complications. Nearly a year after she lost her twin boys who were born prematurely.
With my thoughts about church and religion, it begs the question, how does this happen? WHY. WHY?! Good people. Bad things. Doesn’t God care?
There’s a plan. God always has a plan. There’s always a reason for everything. So damn cliche. Because seriously, I don’t really see the reason for losing parents. Or children. Or half the stuff I don’t understand. What is the reason for it? What has it shown us? Yeah, I’m raising money for cancer patient services and I probably wouldn’t be so passionate about it if it wasn’t for my mom, but surely there’s a bigger reason than that. Right? Maybe it’s made me the person I am, but I have to think whoever I would be if she were still here wouldn’t be so bad either.
Trust in God. That’s what we’re taught to believe.
Except how do you reconcile things like what is happening with Diana? How do you understand horrible things that happen to innocent babies? How the hell does that fit in to any kind of plan?
In my discussions about religion and whether I still believe in the church, in God, at all, in anything, we talked about whether I thought that God was sitting up in the heavens with a giant computer deciding what happens to each individual person. The idea that he’s sitting up there deciding who would live and die sounded kind of absurd when you look at it that way. The idea that he would choose to submit thousands of people to natural catastrophes, or even worse terrorism seems insane. Why would he do that?
I think it’s easy to believe there’s some grand plan that we aren’t actually in control of anything when you haven’t really been through or seen things like death and catastrophe. You go along on your merry way bummed out that you didn’t get that job you wanted but it must not have been the one for you. God knows better.
But I have seen the death part, anyway. And I just don’t get it.
Do I believe in God? Yup, sure do. Heaven? I sure hope so, because I’d hate to think when you die it’s just over. I don’t think everything is bad. Obviously there are little miracles everyday and I do believe in those. I have faith that good things do happen to good people and I hold tight to the hope that things like that happen more often.
At a time like this I guess that’s when blind faith is so important. That’s what all religions are, right? Blind faith? Taking the word of someone you’ve never met, people that existed thousands of years before us who “wrote” the words that are the fundamental tenants of our religion–words that have been translated thousands of times over, so who knows what they truly should say.
Religion is more than just a church. It’s more than just whether you think that God, or any higher power exists. It’s about wanting to believe that we are not alone, that we are not picked to suffer. Maybe it’s just not within our capacity to know or understand any of this. It’s just hard. When you are already struggling to “fit in” with a church that chooses not to accept or acknowledge some of the best people you know, it’s hard to not overgeneralize and question more than just the church.
All I know is one step forward, one step back. Either way, I’m headed to church this evening. I don’t expect to magically understand and just like anything you want a return on, you’ve got to make an effort. I’ll be continuing the prayers I’ve been saying and we’ll see what the day brings.
One thing I do know, we all have to love much harder. Everyday.