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Sunday, January 8, 2012

What makes us more special?

I touched on it briefly before, but I've heard it again recently and its on my mind. Some people think that telling me that they just know nothing will happen to I because God wouldn't let someone as sweet/beautiful/precious be harmed will comfort me. They mean well, I know that, I appreciate that. But I can't help that it instead irritates me and at times makes me downright angry (not that I would ever tell them that). Why? Because sweet, beautiful, precious, innocent children die every single day for a myriad of reasons. God "let" it happen to them so what makes us so special that he wouldn't "let" it happen to us. Don't get me wrong, I believe in God, I just find it hard to believe he micromanages. If he did micromanage, why is there suffering or sadness or death or hate? If he only micromanages sometimes, what makes one family more worthy than another to have their child saved? Or is it all random? Random seems even more cruel than the thought that he chooses based on some unknown criteria to save some and watch others die...

I guess I am a believer in free will. God gave us free will but the only way it can truly be free is if he stays out of it. I think he can step in and guide here and there, leave advice for us, maybe even nudge us in the right direction every so often, but it is still up to us what does or does not happen. And by us, I mean the collective us--every person has the potential to impact everyone else. Just because one person does everything right doesn't mean a good outcome because the person next to them may make a poor choice that ruins it for everyone--we see this one played out over and over, don't we? One bad apple and all that :p But aside from the free will of the people o this world, there is also just fickleness of chance itself. A gene or two randomly changes and my daughter has heart defects. Chance.

I think being a parent has shaped my view of what God is. As a parent, I have very little control over things. Sure, I can guide my kids and teach them and ask that they do the things I want and though I can physically move them to the places I want them to be now that they are little, I cannot control what they say or think or some of the things they do. And as they get older, more and more time will be spent watching, hoping, supporting. If God truly wants us to have free will, I imagine much of his time is spent the same way where it concerns us. I am not sure I could reconcile the theme that GOD IS LOVE with the idea that he will save my kid but not another. To give us agency, he has to take a step back and support us but not interfere to that degree. Perhaps he has nudged us in directions we did not understand so that we would be at a place where we could devote the time and care I needs but he can't just "fix" her, not if we are to be creatures of free will. We live with the consequences of our world, whether or not they are of our own personal making. Perhaps her defects were caused by environmental factors because not everyone chooses to be a good steward of the earth. Perhaps they are genetic, little hiccups in the code caused by the points in the family tree where cousins decided to marry and have children. Perhaps it was me forgetting to take my vitamins sometimes. We will never know, all we know is we have to live with the consequences and hope for the best.

I have been blasted for this before but here it is: I do not pray for I's heart to be healed by God. I just don't believe that is how it works. I do, however, pray that I have the strength to do whatever needs to be done, no matter what happens. Strength for her, for my boys, for my husband, for myself. In particular, I pray for the support I need, the love, the guidance, to do what I must. God may not be able to stop us from falling, but it sure is nice to have a hand up and a hug to get us going again.