Does God Love?

Pattie Crider

PHL250

04/24/2014

Does God Love?

 

The pain in my chest is overwhelming today and I wonder how much I can endure. I’m angry at God and can’t understand why there must be so much suffering. God if you love us why do you let tragedy into our lives? I want to love you. I want to believe you love me and all of us on earth, but you make it difficult. Is it a test of our faith? If it is, you are taking it to a level I can barely endure.

“Aunt Peggy! Hi, it’s Pattie. I’m calling to see what time you want us to come for Easter dinner.”

“Oh Pattie, I have terrible news. My Frankie died in his sleep last night. I’m still having dinner and want you to come, but I’m pushing it back to later in the day. More of our family will be coming.”

I felt like I had just been punched in the gut. Frankie, my 34 year-old cousin was so full of life. He made even the grumpiest person smile with his antics. I sat down to let what my aunt had just said sink in. Frank was gone. I wouldn’t see him at dinner tomorrow and he wouldn’t get all the kids wound-up to the point we would have to yell at him to settle down as if he were 8 years old himself.

I went to Philadelphia the next day and ate dinner with my family but there wasn’t much praising of God, or even a prayer thanking him for giving up his son for our lives. We were all thinking the same thing, “Why did he take our Frank?” My aunt did not plan a funeral for Frank, no opportunity for us to gather and see him one last time. No prayers or hymns asking God to welcome him into Heaven. We left Philadelphia still dazed, hugging our family members, some we haven’t seen since we were children, hating that the only reason for our reunion was the death of our dear cousin. I will be honest; we weren’t thinking about God’s sacrifice of his son, we were thinking about ourselves and the loss of a man we loved dearly.

I came home and tried to get back into the swing of things. I was making progress, accepting that Frank made poor choices in his life and perhaps God took him out of love to save others from the dangers he could have brought into their life, particularly his young son’s life. I almost convinced myself that God did this out of love and Frank is now in Heaven with his wings, no longer suffering severe back pain from a work injury.

Then yesterday happened and my anger towards God is nearly at a boiling point. My dear friend for some unknown reason shot herself to death Tuesday night in her home. I cannot understand why and I’m overwhelmed with guilt for not calling her more often or stopping to see her at work. She was literally two minutes up the road and I barely saw her in person. She always seemed happy even, when I dropped off her Girl Scout cookies last month. Would a God who loves take or allow her to take her life? I am so angry that this happened and even angrier at myself for not being a better friend.

Last night my dad called about 8:30 PM to tell me my mom isn’t doing well. She is in Pittsburgh recovering from the first of two surgeries necessary for a small intestine transplant. The thought of losing my mother terrifies me. I am praying to God to make her strong and to give me the strength to get through this unbelievable amount of stress going on in my life. My mom is the most kind, caring and loving person I know and did nothing to deserve the suffering she has endured for the past 20 years. If God loves, why does my mother’s pain continue? My dad said they will probably move her to critical care because she is having such difficulties breathing. It is devastating to me that she isn’t even strong enough to talk to right now. In fact, she is so weak we don’t want to tell her about the loss of Frank in fear she will begin crying and her body won’t be able to take the stress.

I want to believe in a Christian, loving God. That is the God I pray to asking him to hold my strength as I get through the loss of my cousin and friend, as I try to be patient with my mother’s recovery, as I finish my last term in college, as I try to get custody of my daughter from my abusive ex and finish the divorce he started six years ago. The stress is incredible and I try to have faith that God will be by my side, especially since I have a life growing inside me that should not be touched by the drama and sadness taking place.

Could the Hebrew God really be what looks down at us? Not really caring, but just going on with business as usual because what he started with Adam and Eve has been a bust and we humans are just the mess left behind that he must try to tidy up daily? I can’t say I’d blame God if that’s how he feels. God demanded we obey and worship him but most of us fail. If his love is contingent on a transaction in which we fulfill, I’m not surprised by all the suffering the world endures, or even my own suffering. I would expect the pleasure he gets from our creation to be minimal because the reality is we humans suck at upholding even the simplest of obligations. We had the opportunity to have perfect lives and it was ruined in the Garden of Eden with rebellion, sin and crimes against one another. So those original sins perhaps are the cause for the suffering we have every day. I don’t believe it’s fair. I feel bound to God through the love I was raised to believe in and feel towards him, but the weight of life and the recent happening in my personal life make holding this love difficult.

I don’t want to believe that God doesn’t love us. That belief is what keeps me holding my faith. I want to believe God loves us and there is a reason for everything that happens, whether it is the death of a loved one or the surprise of becoming pregnant at 43 years old. I don’t want to think there has to be bad to compensate for good or that all this happens randomly with no higher power involved. It would obliterate everything I’ve been taught since I was old enough to understand Bible stories. I instead place my life in God’s hands and will replace my anger with stronger faith because anger and hate will never make things better and only bring me down further.

This wasn’t a fictional story, I just couldn’t bring myself to write fiction when my reality is so tangible right now and making me question whether God does love. I will continue to believe he does in the Christian thought because to allow the Hebrew view of God enter my life would not be beneficial to my family and me. I need to believe God is good and God loves otherwise, all I’ve been taught would have been the fictional story.

Comments

  1. My brother died unexpectedly about 4 years ago. We had his funeral 1year and 1 day after we had our father’s funeral. He passed away from colon cancer. I truly believe my brother could not live in a world without my father, and that they needed to be together. It’s hard not to ask, “Why?!?!” but I always try to remind myself we are only humans – we cannot and could not understand the question to that answer even if God told us.

  2. Hugs Pattie, I know it’s very difficult to understand. I’ve had these things happen to me know and have felt lost. As friends we rely on each.others love, strength and experience to work through difficult times. Remember it takes a village to raise a child so I guess we’reall having a baby 😉

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