Pres. Bush says he prays to God for wisdom, strength and guidance. I guess that’s all any of us should ask or expect from God. He’s not there to do us favors. Not in any tangible way. You think about the accident and you ask why. But you’ll never know why. So many questions we’ll never know the answer to. You have no choice but to accept what is. You can’t change it. You can rebel against it, live in denial of it. But you can’t change it. You can, however, learn from it and be thankful for it. You can use whatever you learn to move forward, to grow, to share your knowledge with others. I wish I felt differently about organized religion, that I was better able to tolerate the hypocrisy and overlook it. I wish I could continue to blindly buy into it, because often I got a message out of it. But now I feel sort of foolish going and like I’m the hypocrite because my presence suggests I agree with the tenets of “the faith.” Well, if I believe Jesus was the son of God and he died for my sins and I’m forgiven and saved and I have a personal relationship with God and I try to be attuned to his wisdom and guidance what do I need a church for? To take my money? To listen to pedophiles tell me how to live my life? To watch homosexuals denounce homosexuality?
The purpose of suffering must be to draw you closer to God. Because you have to go inside yourself and search for strength and meaning and purpose and that’s what God gives us. So pain is generally a wake-up call. It’s God trying to get our attention to walk closer to him. To take the path he wants us to take. We don’t learn from good times as much as we do from what we consider “bad” times. And really I think when things are good for a long time you are gearing up for the tough times ahead. Be thankful to God in all things. There’s a reason why the world works as it does. There’s a reason why we are allowed to experience the events we are given. So many of us turn outwardly for solutions to pain. Drugs and alcohol. We reject the pain instead of allowing ourselves to embrace it and experience it and learn from it. God’s trying to help us, trying to get us to come closer to him to know him better. Instead we turn and walk away believing we can find better comfort elsewhere. As much as I am saddened at R’s loss here on earth, in some way perhaps her death holds greater lessons for those who knew her. Don’t take your friends for granted, or your children either. Live your life without regret, make every moment count. Look for lessons in everything because they’re there.
I do think there are probably people out there who are happy that this tragedy happened to my family, to me. Finally, they think, the bottom fell out of her perfect little world. But my world is as perfect as it ever was. Which is to say my life was never perfect. Who’s is? No one’s. If D had died how would I be now? More devastated? Less? I’d know she was safe. I’d still feel her presence. She’d still be with me. But she wouldn’t be here. I’d miss her. Let’s face it. It’d be a huge adjustment. I’d be really, really sad. But I still think I’d be okay. I’d look for the lessons there for me in her life and in her death. I feel like I haven’t done enough, made amends to R’s family, but there’s nothing I can do, no amends to be made. I can’t reach them. I can’t bring R back. I can’t undo what’s done. I can’t make it better for them. I wish I could. But I can’t. I have to accept what is. So do they.
I’m feeling bad. Is not going to church making all this bad stuff happen? Am I not praying enough? Am I not staying close enough to God? I don’t sit and pray consciously every day. I never did. But nor do I have periods where I think God isn’t with me. I wish going to church didn’t make me feel like such a hypocrite. I need a spiritual advisor. God, how about you? Why does church feel so wrong? What changed? Me? The church? Or the people of the church? Or too much publicity about the people running the church? If you can’t buy into what they’re selling, if you can’t support it, then why pretend you do by your presence there? It’s like, wait a minute, this is what I was taught, but do I really believe all of it? Do I have to believe all of it to be a part of it or even a part of some of it? You can’t say bad things happen because you stopped going to church. Bad things happen to people who do go to church. It isn’t some magic cure, is it? Maybe it was just our turn. I mean how long can you expect things to go really well? Can you even say what’s happened is “bad?” Why label it? R’s death, while tragic to us for a variety of reasons may also serve a purpose we can’t see. Did it draw us closer to God and/or closer to each other? Is death necessarily a bad thing? Or a sick dog? Isn’t there a lesson in everything? All part of the human experience if we will but look deep enough into ourselves. Do you need a church to do that? If you believe Jesus’ death on the cross saved you, then isn’t everything else just gravy? Even suffering? Except everyone is not as introspective as I am. They can’t distance themselves as easily. And my daughter didn’t die. So I can’t really say where I’d be right now if she had.