Testify…or Lie

You might find, if you ever become an atheist, that you can handle problems just as well without God, and perhaps even better. Let’s face it, God is just an emotional pillow for us to cry on” (Temaskian)

Truth be told Temaskian – you’re right. I would live pretty much the same life I do now if I decided to declare myself an ‘atheist’…not much would change for me. However, I am not poor anymore either and facing some of life’s hardest struggles…but one time that was me.

So, for me, it’s a matter of a reality check. What do you think got me to this point Temaskian? There is something about having nothing that requires one to have faith – that life can be better than what it is – that pushes one to higher hopes in spite of conditions that range from dire to dangerous. Faith in God provides that – and I admit 100% it ’saved’ me…in the sense I was ’saved’ from the conditions I grew up in and was allowed to be exposed to.

Now faith is all about the things ‘hoped for’…and I reached every single goal I set for myself from when I was 17 and just escaping the hood mentality. I’m 34 now – I am a grown up and life worked out pretty damn good…I got educated, married, own a home, nice vehicles, have a great job, etc. So yes, I could pack it all in and declare – I am now going to be an athiest…truth is I see less need for a God when you live comfortably. I live pretty damn comfortably.

But I always ask myself this (reality check time) ‘would I be where I am today if I did not develop my faith in God?’. Would I treat people the way I do? Would I care as much as I do? Would I have the 1/2 the insight I have developed over time? Would I have even gotten educated? I tend to think none of this would of happened had I not some 17 years ago (as a teen) decided to give faith a chance…this Christian thing.

From all projections I can logically make, from judging all of the other people who I grew up with (some are dead now)…I would have had less education (to none), have a few children (maybe be married – likely not), not actually own much of anything, have a prison record, wouldn’t have developed many of the skills I take for granted now (ie: my personal discipline and writing), may or may not have developed a serious drug problem or another addiction, work trade labor or not have a job, possibly be dead from a variety of violent scenarios, likely be unhealthy, etc.

For me, it makes no logical sense to claim atheism as something to classify myself as. Faith, as much as I am comfortable now, actually helped push me in directions that saved my life – and if I have kids – set their future on a much better path than I knew. I respect people that make the claim to be ‘atheist’ – I cannot make such a claim because for me it would be ‘lying’ about what ‘made me’.

***Originally aired under ‘Finding God’

I have to ask…do many de-converts ignore their past and what part that played in the people they are now? I am proposing the idea the more comfortable one is – the less the need for a God is.

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25 thoughts on “Testify…or Lie

  1. excellent post! i’m right there with you! for me, atheism is an easy and privilidged way out. there are many ppl who all they have is an “invisible pillow to cry on” because no one else gives a shit to give them a real one and help liberate them from the conditions. and has your story states, no one can liberate another, the oppressed must choose it for themselves and are only affective if powered by God. any atheist liberation movements i should know about? thought not!

  2. “And maybe this is the purpose of “Faith”, not about finding G-d, but all about finding yourself” (John)

    This has been my personal take on this situation…faith can be a ladder to a much better life. But it’s about one’s personal life in the here and now and what benefits faith has had (or can have). Faith without such ideas makes no sense really.

  3. “no one can liberate another, the oppressed must choose it for themselves and are only affective if powered by God.” (Luke)

    I think the empowerment that faith allows a person is truly ‘freeing’ if one can find that within the teachings…I managed to see the true hope faith can offer a person and it allowed me to follow dreams which I thought were a non-reality.

    A lot of people forget how good faith has been to them and what their times within those circles (even if they out-grew those circles) allowed them to push towards. I don’t think Jesus was joking about the ideas of freedom he mentions – namely in John oddly enough – and how they allow a person to break the shackles of what society has laid upon them.

    Faith, when used in the vein it seems it should be used, resembles the stuff King Jr. or Gandhi managed to push towards – which was really only an idea to begin with. What made those ideas meaningful…I would say faith added a spark of hope which made mediocore people reach for the skies.

  4. You have perfectly described the dynamics of superstition and not faith and/or the reality of any god. It was you, yes you, that actively went out to better your life and saw where, when, and how to better it. It was you who wrote those papers and got those hard-earned university and theology degrees. It was you who went out and handed out resumes and got a good-paying job. It is you that goes to work everyday and earns the money it takes to maintain your middle-class existence; and escape the “Hood.” And it is you who chooses to give the credit to another entity other than your own hard work. And you do it, seemingly, as a superstition and not as a faithful gesture. ex.: If I give thanks and pray to this god then this good thing will happen to me – that is the definition of a superstition. ex.: If my palm is itchy then that means that money is coming to me – superstition? One thing does not presuppose the occurrence of the other thing.

    But in actuality it was always YOU that has done the things in your body and mind in order to better your life. Yes, it was you. Atheism or not, it was you, in fact atheism has nothing to do with anything at all. I, personally, am by definition an atheist and I am working on my Master’s degree and I live a decent middle-class life and I am in your same family and came out of the same mental, emotional, and even worse physical, conditions. I do not credit superstition for my life and its achievements. Where is god or atheism it this all, the answer is…………………….. nowhere.

  5. “And you do it, seemingly, as a superstition and not as a faithful gesture. ex.: If I give thanks and pray to this god then this good thing will happen to me ”

    i don’t see him saying this. and Johnny, you gotta read some liberation theology man. the spark that gave him hope, that had him reach for the stars, that sustained him through hard times… that ain’t cheap and it ain’t superstition. sure the choice was his… but he rose to meet the challenge and choose liberation and grace over the cycle of violence in the hood. and you had his example (assuming you’re younger). no man is an island.

    • Fine, I will read MORE theology because in my 31 years I have not done that enough, god knows. If I have to read more god stuff then I demand that you have to read the entire Das Kapital and Communist Manifesto by Marx – or does it only work one way? Funny, since I grew up and stood beside the man and I was there as an eye-witness and I can testify to the truth of my claims. I didn’t see god, or “liberation theology” guiding Jason when he pursued the paths of his life. What I saw was a driven young man with passion and intelligence, a fine example to follow. I didn’t follow him as a superstition, if I followed him it was because it was a better example then what I was taught and what I was getting in North Central. That has nothing to with theology, god, or atheism – it has to do with a younger brother admiring his elder brother(s).

      By the way the “spark that gave him hope” was poverty and hopelessness and then finding a way out of that poverty was the immediate goal. This goal was achieved by any means necessary, and Jason took charge of his own life. That is my testimony.

      • “By the way the “spark that gave him hope” was poverty and hopelessness and then finding a way out of that poverty was the immediate goal” (Johnny)

        I agree – those were things that drove me – they were motivators (psychology). However, the path chosen was the Christian teachings and community to arrive at the hopeful destinations. I just think it is a ‘cop-out’ to not admit that the teachings paved the way for a ‘better’ me. Now although it was me that took on that responsibility to become a more responsible person – the teachings guided me and offered the training I needed. They kind of work hand in hand if u ask me.

        To now think I can turn around and say ‘well there is no God’ would be absurd to me…based on my own experiences. Faith pushed me into greater hopes – not atheism, not poverty, not anything else but the teachings I found in the gospels – they provided the spark I needed – the self esteem I needed to move forward – to dream and think an idea can move mountains (which it did). The ideas of hope within the gospel scream for change – I just obeyed.

        You fail to forget the amount of people in poverty we grew up with – and the struggles they also face in life. I am always back in the hood and amongst the First Nations population listening and hearing the stories – and what is happening to a lot of people that did not take this path. The only difference between myself and any of them is I internalized the teachings of this faith and they choose other ideas for fulfillment. That’s not a bad thing – it just provides a chance for comparison.

        I have to admit – people with a strong faith within poverty and the like conditions we faced seem to fare better than one’s with no substantial faith paradigm background (no set of teachings or guidelines). I don’t see many faith kids joining gangs for example – comitting violent acts…as compared to the surrounding community they live in. It seems like faith provides some spark of a hope to let them imagine something better – and they go with that instead of what seems like questionable means with questionable outcomes. They’re taking a chance on faith – but it’s better than the reality they are given.

        I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know if there is a God – the proof is scant at best. I have never seen God, never had an audible 2 way convo, don’t know His name, etc. But as little proof as one would need to believe in God – I did get. That and I see faith as being all about what the teachings can provide one – a self committment to God in the ‘here and now’ which looks forward to a God that is ‘there and then’.

      • oh and you’re assumption that faith can’t inspire ppl to take charge of their own lives is some what insulting… but mainly reinforces that you need to read more theology 😉

  6. “God is just an emotional pillow for us to cry on” Temaskian

    Obviously, not a very high view of God. Granted, I can see your point. I would suspect that many people have, or maybe they still do, use God as their emotional pillow. Not such a bad thing though, I see people who choose worse pillows.

    Atheism, not a choice I could make. Superstition or not, I like the thought that there is an almighty Father out there, who loves me and cares about me.

    Now, I know the life that I have is mostly because of my choices. But my choices can only take me so far in this life. Too many outside forces have a say on the life that I now live and I live with the hope that God has influence on those outside forces.

  7. Atheism, not a choice I could make. Superstition or not, I like the thought that there is an almighty Father out there, who loves me and cares about me.(thejust)

    In all fairness, the concept of a G-d doesnt mean it has to be an almighty father. I believe in a creator and get a sense of peace from that belief, but it is the furthest thing from being a “father”.

  8. For the record, Just1 (older) and Johnny (younger) are my brothers (real brothers – not Christian brothers). Now I have stated for the record some of the things about my own life – the life I have to live and not them…however we were at all one time under the same roof…and that in and of itself is an interesting story about change. I’ll re-count some if it (as I seen it).

    I re-call a very abusive father who was such a bad example none of us younger children aspired to be him…but rather wished his death just to stop the insanity within the household…I was 10 when this man passed away…but what did that matter – the other places John and I stayed at afterwards were as abusive and reckless as what we grew up in.

    We were abandoned by our own mother to families that really had little to no care or concern for us – I can’t remember them buying me (or John) a damn thing. We moved from place to place – even reserve to city – from city to city. This was the loneliest time of my life. At was at this point that I started to hate my own mother…who was basically spiralling out of control in addiction and self-pity (suicidal many times).

    We finally get to live with our family again – with Just1 who took us in after that eventful journey as outcasts and strangers. At this moment in time our family is in shambles. There is literally no conversation amongst the siblings – our mother is jaded – everyone has an addiction that is older – and we live in what I can only call poverty (even the house we lived in was shifting and quite slanted). This was a family – but broken in many different places.

    Then Just1 started attending church with cousins of ours. That event literally was the rock that rippled throughout this family and changed it’s whole make-up.

    Next thing you know my brother Wolf is going, then my sister. Then John and I join. Eventually the whole family comes around to this faith and my mom is off her addiction and on the path to recovery (after many many years). We go from broke as a joke to the most educated First Nations family I personally have ever seen – complete with values, integrity, honor, love (something I think we have to admit didnt exist at all), kinship…and fixed where we were broken. Anyone wanna believe in God?

    So John, how you can come on here and blast faith as superstition is beyond me. I see in the story of our family something quite remarkable – amazing – even what I would consider miraculous. I don’t know how else to explain what happened in our family except to see the hand of God upon it – like an exodus from brokeness, hopelessness, poverty, abuse, and tragedy. We all went from being another batch of statistics to entering lives we almost had no hope of thinking was possible.

    I went from lowly hood thug who was stealing and robbing with friends, drunk on weekends, living in my friends basement to owning a home, 2 degree’s, married, a great paying job, etc.

    I don’t call what happened superstition – because I see nothing of the sort. Jesus’ teachings happened like Torah being delivered at Mt. Sinai to the Israelites…and we observed what we learned to our own serious benefit. Now some people may use faith as a superstition (like our own mom at times) – but I know I don’t. I followed those teachings and still do with respect to how I treat people…all I am getting is mass respect wherever I go these days…what goes around comes around…

    So for me, atheism is bogus…I could never approach the idea with an ounce of integrity.

    ***Also Happy 31st Birthday Johnny!

    • You can preach all the sermons you want – I have heard them all and they have no effect on me in any way – but it still is a great Sunday morning testimony. I have seen what I have seen and I have lived to tell about it. I have never seen god but I have seen the dynamics of a superstitious faith at work in all those that surround me, starting with my mother (half of our genetics). Again, I must repeat that one thing happening (becoming educated) does not presuppose the other thing happening (the truth that god is real) – they are separate entirely. To bind them together is a superstition. Maybe you are all unaware of the word so here is what it means: “An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome.” Logic is the key word.

      You see, we were both born intelligent, so was our father. We both witnessed Dave go to the University and then graduate, that made a difference to me, it said that I could do it. Dave was not a Christian at that time (so god has no part to play in any of this), in fact Dave was directly following orders given to him by his REAL father (Harry Douglas) who led him directly down that path (forcibly) – give some thanks to Harry and not just the air and the wind. And I too follow my REAL father down that path as an educated man. You might hate him but Harry Douglas set the precedent (and gave me us half of our genes). Dave followed Harry and his precedent, then Gerald, then Wilfred, then Jason, Then I followed Harry Douglas (I am not talking about faith – I am talking about education, aka my real saviour).

      • And by the way, our Mother is still alive and I do not think your comments about her (on this blog – of all things) are tasteful in anyway nor are they respectful in any way. She can read and understand – put yourself in her shoes. And I take immediate offence to you belittling her life in front of these strangers; they strangers to me and that is all that matters- they are nothing to me compared to my own immediate family. If you really knew her history (an extremely cruel and unusually violent one) then you would be ashamed to speak ill of her in anyway and in any place. I speak to our Mother all the time and she is contrite and has paid her dues and life has been much crueler to her than to you or me. Perhaps it is you who have failed her and not the other way around.

      • “You can preach all the sermons you want – I have heard them all and they have no effect on me in any way” (Johnny)

        What – me preach – lol…I’d be damned if a church would ever take a chance on a 1/4 of what I say. Not likely.

        “Again, I must repeat that one thing happening (becoming educated) does not presuppose the other thing happening (the truth that god is real) – they are separate entirely” (Johnny)

        But what if the Christian teachings are the underlying education that led to the rest of the education afterwards? You seem to be forgetting this is the logic I am using. I am not talking about some magic type faith based in superstitions of ‘if I just kiss this statue this much times then this will happen’…nothing of the sort. I am talking about something substantial and real – faith as in living by the teachings in daily life – and building upon those ideals for your future…do I need to provide examples?

        But to prove my point – I will provide an example.

        An example of a teaching is ‘repent for the kingdom of God is at hand’. There is nothing hokey or magical about that sentence – your not getting nothing for doing it – it’s simply asking something of the reader…repent (change one’s behavior). Simple.

        The change really is the answer. The change presupposes we must question what it is we are changing and why it is we are changing it. We must seek why we need to change and into what…it’s a trial and error process. The change is in the ideas of the ‘kingdom of God being at hand’. The kingdom of God is the teachings of Torah/Prophets via our rabbi/teacher – Jesus.

        So if the problem is theft or robbery the answer is within the teachings – an ideal that can replace it and works even better. We are taught not to defraud our neighbor nor even wish for the things they own…and if we approach the alter for forgiveness but have done such a thing – we are to make that situation right prior to approaching God. We are in essence, to do to our neighbors as we would done to us…and I hate being stolen from. The teachings are sensical, logical, and one-up having no standard.

        The education prior to my education was these teachings – they all but ensured I would succeed at what I looked into – they set a very high precedent of ‘seeking and following through’ prior to a single thing I have done in the past 8 years.

  9. “And by the way, our Mother is still alive and I do not think your comments about her (on this blog – of all things) are tasteful in anyway nor are they respectful in any way” (Johnny)

    Huh? And how am I not just giving my perspective of history from my personal lens about how I was raised. I say nothing to defame the woman – just mentioning my perspective of the past. I admit she has changed – or did you miss that sentence? Show me the thing I said about her that is wrong/hurtful? What’s next – we gonna start saying dad was an upstanding citizen who had no problems – lest we offend someone in his family? Good grief man.

    But if that’s how you feel – then that’s how you feel…so be it…if you are going to make that kind of accusation about me then provide the proof with it.

    • I do not need some stupid proofs to ease your mind, you have done that all on your own. You can’t stand in her shoes, and then look back on her life, and then read those words about her past written down by her own son (for strangers to pick apart). I have read her personal testimony that she gave to the courts, you have not and are probably never will, and I understand her trauma – but you are careless with her and you don’t give a shit, Your faith is useless in that regard.

      You callously describe her as ‘abandoning’ you and being ‘jaded’ and ‘alcoholic’ and all of that and then she got well miraculously due to FAITH. That is complete bullshit. It was Richard’s death that pushed her over the edge and forced her to deal with her past, not a fucking faith paradigm. You even give all the credit to Dave and his FAITH, yeah, well he is not a god either, he is just a man.

      Even if what you say is the truth you must understand that she can read and she can understand what you are saying. YOU ARE MAD AT HER AND YOU DO NOT LET HER EVER FORGET IT AND YOU BRING IT UP OVER AND OVER AND THAT IS NOT FORGIVENESS – even in this ridiculous blog where it has no part to play in anything, except to stroke your fragile ego and to demonstrate that you had a hard life and you made it -BECAUSE OF FAITH.

      My mother loves me and I love her and yes she was not a good influence in my early years. I never knew my father as a man. But you and only you consistently bring these hurtful things up and throw them in her, and our, face (in order to shame her) and you, yes you, put that baggage on her to this day. But you are too fucking blind to see that because all you see is the reflection in the mirror. Well, it appears that your faith cannot help you overcome your hatred and petty blaming for the problems in your past. Grow the fuck up and own your real feelings and admit to them. You hate your father and you have hated your mother and you still lay blame directly upon them to this day and this is shamefully obvious………… but I thought you overcame all that through your faith. Yeah well my faith is totally dead and I forgive her for real and I do not blame her, or my dad, for my faults and errors and my misgivings ( which are abundant). I know how to forgive and I reject Jesus, can you say the same, probably not. In fact, you will probably internalize all the things I have said here and get frustrated and angry at me because someone has challenged you and reprimanded, which I know you hate. But bear in mind I am a 31 year old man and I speak only of what I perceive to be true and not in a spiritual way.

      You were supposed to be my direct influence, and teacher, and brother, but you have failed in so many ways and you can’t even see it.

      • “YOU ARE MAD AT HER AND YOU DO NOT LET HER EVER FORGET IT AND YOU BRING IT UP OVER AND OVER AND THAT IS NOT FORGIVENESS” (Johnny)

        Really? Is this what you actually think of my personal confessions on my own past – which includes her (sorry)? Do you really think I have not approached the subject of forgiveness over and over and over again over the years – or just let that kind of thing ruin me? I am kind of amazed you believe this about me – you act as if what you are saying is ‘true’?

        Yet I cannot recall the last time I even brought these claims up since at least 2 years ago – and not in a nasty way either – just to discuss it and get these ‘hidden feelings’ on the table for discussion so I could work them out with my family…probably one of the reasons I stopped discussing any of this stuff with my own family…we just don’t wanna hear it for some reason.

        On a side note, when I was in the deepest pain in my life I called my mother to talk to her and make things right – over the phone. You can ask her personally what came of that – and while you’re at it – ask Wolf about his confessions on the same subject.

      • “I have read her personal testimony that she gave to the courts, you have not and are probably never will, and I understand her trauma – but you are careless with her and you don’t give a shit, Your faith is useless in that regard” (Johnny)

        Interesting take to say the very least – even an attack on the uselessness of my faith co-mingled with that bitter pill…nice.

        I have one small parable for your ingenius perspective. Riddle me this.

        There was this person that lived under the rule of a vicious regime. They had all their personal rights stripped of them and were oppressed/abused on a regular basis…they were broken in spirit by that regime and wandered under it hopelessly. Soon they found that regime came to a crashing end and they were freed from it’s destructive controls.

        With their freedom they started their own little county and became it’s ruler. They tried to be fair and courteous to the people they ruled but found it difficult to do that they were not used to. Soon they found themselves becoming the same regime they had left. The people in their county were crying for freedom and waited for their own oppression and abuse to stop.

        Who’s pain was more important – the person who suffered under the first regime or the people that suffered under the freedom of the 2nd regime?

        Why is it you are so willing to discount your own mother’s pain – and basically write it off when you are not willing to extend me the same hand of grace? Why is it my pain has no merit? Am I so grown up that I deserve a greater judgment on my pain as compared to my own parents? I need to remind you – when I was born my parents were 45 and 33 respectfully…I sit here at 34.

  10. “If you really knew her history (an extremely cruel and unusually violent one) then you would be ashamed to speak ill of her in anyway and in any place” (Johnny)

    I know her history and have studied residential schools extensively – that has nothing to do with what I said. You might appreciate this bit of irony – I actually didn’t learn what happened to her and was able to grant that forgiveness until I learned about in a bible college…and later in university.

    But in and of itself – I probably wouldn’t of saw the need to forgive this lady had not there been a teaching like ‘honor your mother and father’ as somewhat of a guide marker and knowing what abuse she had to endure at the hands of priests and nuns (a sense of empathy for her plight). I say the same for dad also. I say the same for our oldest brother also.

    I have no clue where your pulling this stuff from – sheesh.

  11. Then what about the faith of our REAL father, he had none, and yet he still succeeded in getting an education and various jobs, even at the University. Harry Douglas gave the direct impetus to Dave to go to University and at that time Dave was not a Christian in any sense of the word. But, Dave graduated from the U of R and demonstrated that it could be done – he demonstrated it to all his younger siblings. While his REAL Father was a recruitment agent for the U and demanded that young people get a higher education. You are lying if you say that you did not follow after Dave’s example (in terms of educational attainment and even “faith”), you did not even know of any Rabbi or of any Jesus, you only knew of you brother Dave. Dave followed after Harry’s example (he cannot deny this truth and he wouldn’t). Harry was half originator of our genetics, and our brains, and our desire for educational achievement and even the desire to succeed against the worst odds comes from Harry – and not some inner-subjective faith. Faith is the masking- tape that belittles and hides the physical reality we have faced.

    Faith is (to use the Bible – because it is the WORD OF GOD) the ‘substance of things hoped for’ – in this case it is your relation to education and personal success – ‘but the evidence of things not seen’ – but the evidence is shaky at best and it always subjective to your singular mind and it does not cross over to everyone, it is your own imagination that creates and sustains faith of any kind, not just in a God.

    Yes, I have witnessed some type of success in our family (some have achieved middle-class status and that is the end all and be all of success in our lives?) but I have also seen tremendous pain and failure throughout my years. It would be arrogant and foolish for me to only attribute the good things in my life to having some faith in some unknown thing – that is direct hypocrisy.

    If the good things in our life are because of faith then you have described to me the very height of a superstitious belief – and that proves my initial point (all this bickering is wasteful). What about the bad things – where was/is faith in that equation, does faith/god have a divine goal and plan and blah blah blah when the real problems hit home? No, faith and god have nothing to say because they have no practical answers when physical reality is negative – because they are shrouded in mythology.

    My brother got cancer in his chest and I watched him die before my eyes at the age of 27………….. where was faith to help and did it even matter. I was in a car accident when I was 22 and my life has become a shadow of what I once was. What is the plan of faith in this torment? Where is faith when the bad things are overtly apparent and their is no solution and there is no miracle on its way and there is only a physical reality that cannot be changed by a spiritual imagination. Faith has stepped out the door and has shrugged its shoulders on that one, and yes in this situation of my life it appears evident that I am an island.

    • “No, faith and god have nothing to say because they have no practical answers when physical reality is negative – because they are shrouded in mythology” (Johnny)

      Faith has everything to say on that point – just not the faith you imagine everyone has (some superstitious belief that makes everything roses and goodie gum drops).

      You don’t seem to recall the emotional anguish and pain I went through just recently with being abandoned by my wife and having to deal with cheating – an affair – and how that left me broken and all alone…took me back to childhood to be perfectly honest – no security and no help and the feeling of worthlessness. The lowest time of my life to be honest.

      Did I adandon faith in a time of true plight and confusion? Every single thing I worked hard for and earned was about to be tested and possibly lost for good. This was not a good time to say the least…I talked to everyone about it – everyone knows who deathly I felt. Heck there is even blogs on here detailing the event if you care to read…I have nothing to hide…not even about myself.

      Life isn’t always going to be ‘good’…life is about reality and we don’t control everything…we only control our decisions when faced with events…and we make the outcomes. Faith guided me even in that lowest of times – in fact – I felt more from my faith in those moments than I have in years. I cried to a God you say does not exist – a Spirit you say is imaginary…and thank God I did – no one else could bare such anguish/anger/pain/doubt. In the end, this is the same thing that brought my senses back to me.

      When nothing can hold the broken – God is. This is the exact story I see in the Exodus story…brokeness and crying for help…God is. I cannot explain it any better than that – except to say when the human spirit is at it’s most broken point – it is there you find God. For some odd reason, in those cries of anguish – God was. That upheld my faith for the rest of this journey.

      You speak of pain and hurt as if these things wipe away God. I found God in these things even more…now maybe you didn’t?

      I was there when Rich died also – I watched him refuse the help that could of saved his life – and I felt powerless to make him go to the hospital (i carried guilt about letting that guy down for years). I was there when you arrived at the hospital that day – in anguish and shock. I wasn’t thinking about anything but you at that time and after. This same person of faith, which you say is useless, visited you at the hospital all the time and even made sure my life revolved around you for years after that – even to the hurting of my own relationship. And wouldn’t stop myself from doing it again.

      Maybe God lets people down – I don’t know? All I know most of this is perspective and depends on how one wants to view them. I don’t blame God for all the bad things in my life – I don’t see His handprints all over them – so why place the blame there? I see a God that cares about the broken when they are most broken – and when things go good – allows us our rights to choose…as we were created.

  12. Johnny

    Though I may be a stranger I can relate to something you guys have had. PAIN. I wonder though, is it necessary to make it an all or nothing idea? I mean, cant faith play some role in the successes and also include in that, genetics and life experience. I actually get what both of you are trying to say, and in my simple opinion, youre both right.
    Here’s a joke for ya.

    They had a meeting for functional families and only 2 showed up. They were both in Denial. 😉

  13. “I wonder though, is it necessary to make it an all or nothing idea?” (T4T)

    I agree. Perspective is the only thing we can decide is our reality…we arrived at varying conclusions on this subject. I have stated my case as succinctly as I can – and maybe this is not enough?

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