Sunday, May 18, 2014

For the love of God...

Alternate title: How not to hurt someone whose child is suffering.

We have a friend whose child is being tortured with never-ending bouts of pain, surgery, medical intervention... pain is trying to beat the life out of him. I can only imagine the level of exhaustion they're feeling, having been to the brink of my own sanity at a much lower level a time or two.

Everyone feels helpless.

If you have a strong faith, I'm sure it's hard to fight the urge to share it with someone who has been laid low in life... but trying to justify their pain to them by telling the parent, or worse, the CHILD how it's all part of God's plan, or how they just need to believe HARDER only causes more pain.

There is nothing useful in a locker-room pep talk to someone who is depleted in every way. 

If you think it's constructive to teach a lesson via sermon to someone who you feel could benefit from hearing how YOU find comfort in thinking God is using our baby to make you grateful for your own child's robust good health, please don't share your epiphany while they're cutting mine open again.

If you're sure suffering is the One True Path to enlightenment for the next life, there's a time and place for sharing your theory... not here and not now.

I get it, I really do.

Most people who treasure their faith are offering their prayers up as the only gift they have in hopes of healing the suffering they see.

Like his guy.
Tell me you're praying for us, and I'll see your heart and know it's a gift of love from your heart directly to my child.

Let me know you're there, wanting good things for us. I'll feel less alone.

Let me pour out my heart to you, or even just sob uncontrollably for a while while you hold my hand and just sit there.

You're good enough. Your love is good enough all by itself.

Understand that there's just no way you CAN understand our pain, even if you've had your own pain. We all hurt differently.

Tell me you feel helpless and don't KNOW the answers. I'll know you get it. We ALL grapple for just the right thing to say as if it will magically take our friends' pain away because we love them.

Understand that not seeing God the way you do just may be my path. I promise not to come into your moments of pain to try to convince you there is NO God because of your child's pain, that your belief suffering is the path to heaven is wrong, and you should doubt more and just deal with it because shitty things happen to people who don't deserve them every day.

I won't. You know why?

Because it's not about me.

I believe in miracles, no matter what they're called. I've seen my child's eyes open when nobody thought they would.

I believe that even the people who feel the need to preach, even the one who told me my child suffers because of my sins, because I don't have blind faith, or because I need to visualize with sincerity and "manifest" wellness probably mean well.

Deep inside.

Very deep.

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