A word on God – Tuesday 10 April – 27 weeks and 3 days

Baby C has made it through another night, although I wake up with a start at 6:00am when Dee’s alarm goes off to wake him for work.  I am unable to return to sleep.

It is cold.  Winter is on its way.  I get out of bed, turn on the heating (ignoring all the housework that I am not doing) and return to bed – way too early to get up.  Besides, JC made himself a bed in the lounge and I don’t want to wake him.  He does that sometimes when he can’t sleep.  For some reason he does better in the lounge.

I log onto facebook.  It is becoming a morning ritual for me.

I see a post from a woman I met in the UK when my mom got sick.  She was from the evangelical (read: happy clappy) church that my parents had joined just before my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer.

It reads:

Is anyone interested in learning more about God?  You may have questions or feel the need to disprove God.  If you do please inbox me.

I like this woman, a lot, but as soon as I read the post, I feel my body tightening.  My own spiritual journey has been long and convoluted.  I still am unsure where I stand, but it is definitely not in the Christian camp.  I want to say that I am sorry if this post offends the many Christian people that I love and respect, but am not going to, because it doesn’t seem to worry Christians that the attribution of everything good in their lives to God and everything bad in their lives to being “part of God’s plan”, and their incessant need to tell me as much at every single turn, offends me.

I notice my cousin has replied and a repartee has evolved between the two of them.  My cousin is considering christianity it seems and the lady from the church uses my parents and their tragic journey as proof of the miracle of Christ:

I know that some would just see the tragedy of Sarah’s mom’s passing and wonder why God would do that, but God so wanted her to be with Him that’s why He made sure she knew Him first.  God knew what was going to happen, so He put people around her to ensure she went to Him.

I am immediately annoyed and upset by this comment.  I contemplate unfriending this woman, but don’t because I know that her belief is a part of who she is, that she is a good person, and that she is an incredibly kind person.  My mom really thought the world of her, loved her.  Still, I remain angry. I do not share the sentiment of my mom’s journey to her early demise.

I am just going to come right out and say it.  I don’t believe in the existence of one all-seeing, omnipotent God who gets to decide who lives and dies.  I tried to believe, God knows I tried (sic) – especially when mom became sick.  I begged God to open my eyes and my heart so that I could share the sense of wonder and happiness that my mom felt through her belief.  In those last few weeks, despite my begging, attending church and bible study, the God of my parent’s understanding apparently did not deem it worthy enough to “open my eyes and heart”.  He did not call me, as apparently the bible says he does.  I arrived in the UK as a humanist and left for Australia 11 weeks later as a humanist. In a room full of christians, I have never ever felt more isolated, alone and redundant.

Frankly, the notion that God knew the suffering and pain my mom would go through, then put total strangers around her to send her on her way to Him, rendering her family (i.e. me, the non-believer) obsolete, seems like the behaviour of a masochist.

I feel this is particularly true when you consider, as my cousin pointed out, that my mom spent most of her life on a diet and when she was basically given free reign to eat what the bloody hell she liked, she could not taste a thing.  If the power of God is that strong and He so wanted her because she was so good, too good for us, then why not at least give her an amazing sense of taste, one final gift of earthly existence?  Well, as you can see, my baggage runs deep with God.

A couple of times, dad, who is a strong believer, has sent Jay text messages to say that the reason Baby C has stayed in place up until now is because of all the prayer rings going on for her.  I cannot deny that there have been many prayer rings– dad’s, Gee’s, Tee’s and Tee’s mom in the USA – and for each one, I am grateful.  He said this is the true power of God.

I am tolerant of another’s belief, I truly am.  I really do believe that we are all entitled to believe whatever our heart or soul says feels right for us.  That is the gift of humanity and I myself am a continuous spiritual seeker.  I may not believe in God today, but I am open to perhaps that, one day, that might change (although I doubt it).

However, I get really fed up when religious people hover, like vultures, praying on the pain and suffering of others to bring their message of God of their understanding.  I am happy for people to pray for our family, because that brings THEM comfort and I am touched by their kindness to do that for us.  But please, don’t tell my daughter that even if the worst happens (which is really too much for her to bare right now), it is part of God’s plan.  Don’t tell me that my mother died of a horrible, painful disease because it was part of God’s plan.

Christians, please know this:  firstly, at the time of the grief, non-believers will be hating God, or the notion of God, even more.  Now is not the time to try and convert them.  Secondly, those that come to the church (willingly), do so because they are spiritual seekers and the message of the God of your understanding speaks to them in a way that is right for them.  Telling a person that the person you love most in the world has just died because it is “part of God’s plan” is not the way to bring them into the fold.  Support them, yes.  Love them, yes.  Be the change you want to see in the world i.e. live your truth, yes.  But, please, do NOT try to use their loss as a form of recruitment.

Of course, I admit I am still angry.  I am still angry at the death of mom and I am angry that my beautiful 19 year old baby girl is having to go through this awful experience.  It is hard enough to do it without telling us that it is all part of some divine plan.  Just pray for us if that brings you comfort, heaven knows, I pray even if it is to the universe, rather than an almighty God, and I thank you for those prayers, but please please, enough with the “this is all part of some divine plan” talk.  It does not bring us comfort in the least.  In fact, it angers us and just adds one more pressure to what is already a stressful experience.

I like the idea that this is in fact not part of a divine experience, that our lives are not being toyed with like a cat plays with the mouse before it pounces.  I like the notion that this is a human experience, not brought on by any “plan”, divine or otherwise.  It is just a random act of nature, unexplainable, it just is.  We may be spiritual beings living a human existence, I do not know, but I know I don’t like the idea that our pain and suffering is being controlled by something or someone else that we can’t even see.  It isn’t something we as a society would tolerate under any other circumstance and I don’t know why we should tolerate it because people say God says we should.  That just does not seem right to me.

No, my choice is to believe that this is random, that my role is to be there to support my daughter, and that if the worst should happen, and I truly hope that it doesn’t, that it is just an act of nature, that sometimes, bad things happen to good people and we will deal with that.

Until then, however, I believe in the power of the human spirit and its need to survive and because of that, I remain ever hopeful.


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