Monday, December 1, 2008

Dumbstruck

Someone told my daughter 'If your mother's faith is as strong as she thinks it is, she'll survive her cancer.' I was dumbstruck by this. 'If your mother's faith is as strong as she thinks it is...' The beginning of that sentence implies that
a) the person is not as convinced of my faith as I am,
b) that my children should not take much comfort in the fact that I'm trying to be upbeat and faithfilled during this time, and
c) that our God is a score-keeping God.
My faith is NOT perfect, and you have never heard me claim otherwise. My faith is this tattered, battered thing that I keep running up the flagpole anyways. That faith is always growing, but believe me, I'm not 'there' yet. I am acutely aware of this.
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I think of all the people I know who did not survive cancer. Positive attitude can go a long way. In the end, however, there are people of enormous faith who die of cancer. Moreover, they die with their faith intact.
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I think of all the people who don't believe in God. Hearing these sorts of words from 'Godly people' is not an encouragement, and feeds into the stereotype of the 'judgemental Christian' that so turns them off.
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I think of the dark times when I struggle. God and I do argue.
We get over it.
I thought so anyways.
Unless He's measuring my faith, found it lacking, and has already consigned me to the 'will not survive cancer' column.
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I think about Jars of Clay, and their song 'Good Monsters'.
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Mostly, I think that some people should just shut up.

16 comments:

steviewren said...

God does what He does not because of our faith, but because He loves us. I think that is a bigger concept to wrestle with than questions of faith.

God is totally sovereign. He gives us everything ...including our faith. His ways are higher than our ways. How can we understand more than a tiny bit of His plan for us?

As much as we want it to be, it just isn't about us. It is about Him. He woos us into a relationship with Him. Debby, you are right smack in the middle of a living breathing relationship with the God of the universe. I think that is awesome.

You are right, some people should be quiet and try listening to God for themself.

Bush Babe said...

What a ludicrous thing to say - to anyone, let alone the family of someone fighting such a battle. Really quite astounding.

Perhaps there was a God-given reason that a person in your orbit should utter such rot? Perhaps it will serve to make you and yours even firmer in your resolve to stand as one, shoulder to shoulder. Or perhaps it will serve as a reminder that while the Lord may not be a small-minded judgemental moron, some of his flock clearly are.

It's this kind of palava that makes me wary of heavily organised religion. You have your relationship with God. I have mine. They have theirs. I like ours better!

Heh
BB

Bush Babe said...

What a ludicrous thing to say - to anyone, let alone the family of someone fighting such a battle. Really quite astounding.

Perhaps there was a God-given reason that a person in your orbit should utter such rot? Perhaps it will serve to make you and yours even firmer in your resolve to stand as one, shoulder to shoulder. Or perhaps it will serve as a reminder that while the Lord may not be a small-minded judgemental moron, some of his flock clearly are.

It's this kind of palava that makes me wary of heavily organised religion. You have your relationship with God. I have mine. They have theirs. I like ours better!

Heh
BB

Anonymous said...

Anyone who would say that to anyone at all, especially to someone with your sort of challenge, is not in tune with God's love, or knows what an all encompassing faith in the oneness of God and our lives is. However,God loves all creation, no matter what - even those who would say that sort of thing. This gift of life we are at present experiencing is not a 'faith test' but only a part of our soul's life's passage and God and His love are there with us always. As Christ said 'even the sinners'. I think it is also written to 'judge not'.

Just forgive them their lack of true understanding and move on. They cannot touch your inner life and faith at all.

We are all on different journeys but our one constant is God's love enfolding us and with us always.

Love and hugs Barb

Laura Jane said...

What a Ridiculous, misguided person.

OBVIOUSLY never had to battle such an illness themselves. Or had someone say such a stupid thing to a loved one.

Rise above Debby, and keep running your flag up as high as it will go.

We hear ya.

Big hugs

MuseSwings said...

Debby -people are going to say a lot of strange things - some intentional, some not, some just not well thought out. That remark to your daughter, of course, one of the weirdest - filled with implications, none of which are true.
I wonder if the person even realizes what they said. If you're pretty sure they did, take them off your Christmas card list NOW. Maybe make T-shirts that say "If you have anything really weird to say, please tell my Mom directly. She needs a good laugh."

Mikey said...

Amen to the shutting up. What in the world. Maybe they just didn't realize what they were saying. Sometimes people just like to hear themselves yap.

Mikey said...

Hey! You have flowers over at my place. Come get them!!

Scotty said...

Never argue with idiots; it only lowers you to their level and provides entertainment for onlookers.

I read that somewhere...

:-)

jeanie said...

Oh darn - does that particular God have the whole tribunal setup as well? Do you get an extra innings in the sin bin if you forgot to polish your shoes on Sunday?

Sheesh. I watched an insipid Summer programming show last night, and the bit that stuck with me was one righteous character sneering to someone "yes, but what would Jesus do?" and the response was "probably slap your face for thinking such horrible thoughts".

For me, all you can do is what you can do and put the rest in the hands of your God.

Redlefty said...

People are often dumb. But we love them anyway :)

As far as I can tell, the faith of every one of Jesus' followers failed, when he needed them most. But it didn't sever the relationship.

His love doesn't require our faith, but our lives sure seem better when the faith is there.

nanatrish said...

You are loved and we are praying for you. I know we are to love people, but that doesn't mean they are all easy to love. Some people are just plain goofy. He is our Saviour and He will always be there for us. You are loved.

Mary Paddock said...

People often say stupid things with the best of intentions. I have to go there in my head when I'm faced with this. They probably meant well.

I feel sorry for people who think that God rewards us with yeses and nos according to the strength of our faith. It's hard to live with that hanging over one's head. Depending on how honest they are with themselves, it either results in a nervous wreck or a self-righteous jerk.

Fastfingers said...

The cow! Ignore her, she's an idiot.

Pencil Writer said...

My original thought on this post was: If faith alone is the measuring stick, would Christ have been spared from the agony in Gethsemane where He bled at every pore, (His pain and grief were so extensive that we can’t come close to understanding it), or spared from His dying on the cross? Whoever in all the world had greater faith than His? Yet, He died. And we all will—some day! And, of course, had He not died, the rest wouldn’t matter anyway. His Atonement—through His suffering, death and resurrection—is essential for any of us who’d like to live with Him again.

One of my beloved step-sisters was a wonderful woman of faith who, though valiant in her fight with stomach cancer, died. I hated losing her to that. I hated for her 9 children to lose her and her very good husband to lose her, but I believe God has a plan for us that we don’t fully understand. We plan to see each other "on the other side!" Besides, since I believe that this life is a testing ground, faith is required for our growth toward following the Savior. Like He said (in Matthew 5:48) “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

Faith in God’s love and living His commandments is part of that perfecting process—whether we live a little longer on this earth or not, if we’re exercising faith in Him to the best of our ability, then that’s the best we can do. Thank Heaven HE’S the judge.

Like many of the other commentors, ignorance, lack of forethought of Cara’s friend may be the culprit in the unkind words of her perspective. Forgive and forget. Maybe one day she’ll mature and realize her lack of understanding and tact. I’m sorry I’ve made comments in my life I’ve regretted, too. Not to intentionally cause another pain, but nonetheless have done so.

Anonymous said...

Ignorant people make ignorant statements. Sounds like this woman leads the pack!
-Lavinia