**If you don’t want to read about God today, head on over to the Rocky Mountain Moms Blog; I also have a post up over there about life with a three year old, thus reaffirming that I am, in fact, a mommy blogger. Now excuse me while I go barf…**
I posted a mini-rant some time back about a family whose daughter died because they chose to pray for her instead of taking her to the hospital; an 11 year old girl with diabetes that had gone undiagnosed for their failure to take her to the doctor, diabetes which killed her as she lay on the floor on their home while people prayed over her. I read in the paper this morning that her parents have both been convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in this case (you can read it here). The paper said,” Neumann, who once studied to be a Pentecostal minister, testified Thursday that he believed God would heal his daughter and he never expected her to die. God promises in the Bible to heal, he said.”
It’s like that old joke about the guy floating down a river on the top of his house due to floods, and several different people come to help him and he keeps saying no, no thanks, but then he drowns. Gets up to heaven and is pissed at God, saying, “Why didn’t you save me? I prayed and prayed and I still diedbecause you didn’t save me!” and God said, “You dumbass! I sent a boat, I sent a helicoptor…”
I do believe in God; I do believe that God has the power to heal, and that miracles well and truly do happen. However, how many times are those miracles wrought in a hospital setting, where a patient is under a doctor’s care? I was reading an article in the AMNews about a survey done by a group of doctors; the majority of them not only acknowledge that faith and/or religion have a huge impact on healing, but also admit that better than half the time, a “supernatural” event takes place; while the article itself does not define what that means, I would assume based on the context that it meant people were healed unexpectedly, or were perhaps living longer and better than their diagnosis would indicate they should. Because I am a believer myself, my feeling is that God gave these people the brains and opportunity to become physicians for a reason-so they can shuffle around down here in order to His work for him, because really, I imagine The Big guy is pretty damn busy most days. To me, the refusal to take what help is offered, or to refuse to GET help, with an ill child IS criminal-and to look at it from a strictly religious standpoint, pretty ego-fucking-tistical. I mean, come on; you have a seriously ill child laying on the floor and she stops breathing and you don’t call for help? Isn’t that a little bit like putting yourself not just before your child but before God? I don’t know; some days I am pretty Universal Unitarian (if I had to put a name to how I believe at all, which I try not to do as a general rule. I mean, come on-call yourself a particular religion and next thing you know you are making jello salad for a funeral feeding 300; I ALWAYS get stuck making jello salad, because I really, really hate jello), which basically says that every life has value and that everyone-believers or not-are pretty well sacred to God. In cases like this, though, I don’t feel so Universalist. I have to wonder if I want to spend eternity next to someone who killed his daughter because he thought God was going to magically swoop down and save her-when a doctor very well could have.
I think that God gave us all gifts, and He plopped us down on this earth and told us to use them. Sometimes I think people are slow learning what those gifts are, in which case I also believe God is infinitely patient and loving, simply waiting for us to serve our purpose. To some He gave the gift of medicine, others the ability to build building and plumbing systems. Some of us can create the most beautiful music there is, others can weave together words that stun in their truth and beauty, even more yet are masters at providing really tasty food. But really, we all serve the same purpose, whatever gifts we have been given: to help one another live a full and happy life, to make the world a better, more peaceful place, to rejoice in the happiness of each other and to bear one another up when life fucking sucks ass. I believe that each one of us, no matter how small and insignificant we think we are, have something to offer, and can you imagine how amazing it would be if all of us worked at capacity to honor that which He has given us?
But then there is that whole free will thing, which frankly pisses me off. I look at the parents of that little girl, and while I honor their right to choose, it still makes me angry-because it led to a dead little girl and their prison sentences; look at all the unfulfilled potential! Same with my ex-husband; he was a smart man, could be very charming and kind, and he chose freely a life of crime and abuse and addiction (and sure, addiction is a disease; I get that. It is also a disease what can and is treated if a person chooses a recovering lifestyle). Who knows now what he could have done had he just used those good qualities for things other than charming the pants off (literally) the latest woman? And I am not just talking here about free will regarding whether or not to believe in a Deity of some sort-because I know people who don’t believe, and they still go around making the choices that are the best for them and their families, trying to live a good life and do the right thing and embody goodness for the benefit of everyone. You can see that embodiment in people fighting for equal rights to all, you can see it in people volunteering for the blood Banks, or setting up a recycling center. I personally know a pharmacist who goes on trips with Doctors Without Borders every couple of years. He doesn’t believe in God at all, doesn’t even CARE whether or not God exists; this is what he does, he was trained to do this, and it is the right thing to do. That’s it for him. No feeling of having a calling, no questioning whether or not God has a hand in any of it, just the knowing that maybe he can put an IV in a kid and save him, or maybe give a baby a bath and clean the dead bugs out of his eyes. Is that God working? I think it is, he doesn’t; and one of is us wrong, but who gives a shit?
Sigh…I went off on a tangent there, but that’s okay. It’s Sunday-what better day? And as a whole, I am not sure what my gifts are, what my purpose is. But I think God’s will for me today is to go whip up a batch of sourdough pancakes for my family-because food is life-and to help get Sam ready for his first adventure alone-a trip to Seattle. I think His will for me today involves not drinking (a given, but one I still have to pray about every morning even after all this time), keeping an open mind, and watering the grass out front-because He has given me this yard and home, and his will is that I take care of it. And that might all change later today, but I think He wants me to keep an open mind.
***Just for clarification to those of you who have asked: When I post about Hannah and all that has happened to her, I let her read it and make sure it is okay before I hit that publish button, unless I have written a password protected post. There have been two that she chose not to allow me to post, and those I won’t even password protect; certain parts of her story and just that-totally HERS-and I try really hard to honor that, both on the blog and in my real life. Thank you all for being concerned enough to ask about that. Also,I have received two letters to Hannah, and want to thank both senders profusely. One of them is even posted on a site, which is well worth reading FAR BEYOND the letter to Hannah. Go check out this blog: Singing With My Heart, because she has an amzing story. And I am asking again for any of my readers to send her their own words, about troubles and triumphs, pain and healing. ***