Friday, December 16, 2011
Just and Loving?
It’s tough to ‘keep the faith’ when one experiences a lot of negative things in their life. And often it seems like the negative things just keep piling up and up. You know, the thought that a lot, if not most, believers have at some point in their lives – ‘Why does God let bad things happen to good people?’
When I have had those moments, I tell myself to just trust that all that is happening is part of God’s plan and to just believe that there is a purpose to the turmoil. But, it gets very hard to remember and believe that when the bad things happen to an innocent child, and especially hard when bad things continue to happen over and over again through no action of that child.
For instance, children like mine and others with severe disabilities did not ask to be born they way they were. It was through the actions of their birth parents – drinking, drugs, no prenatal care, etc. – that their lives were determined. Innocent children who had no say in their future…
I can perhaps accept that at some spiritual level by going back to having faith when it seems God has a plan. What I can’t accept is when bad things continue to happen to these innocent children. Wasn’t it enough they were born with their disabilities – why must they be afflicted with other negative things beyond their control?
For example, these vulnerable children are subject to stares, bullying, exclusion and a host of other actions by people who ridicule them or think of them as less than ‘normal’. The parents of the children must battle every step of the way to ensure their children receive appropriate educations when teachers often ignore or exclude them, or just don’t believe they have any ability to learn. Or, there are the professionals (and that term is used loosely) who insist you prove over and over that your child really does have a disability, disabilities like deafness or blindness that seem nothing if not obvious. These children have to endure bus drivers and aides who treat them like animals, people who equate a physical disability with a decreased capacity to learn and understand, and neighbors and sometimes extended family members who act as if that child has something contagious. People speak about these children, not to them. They support them without befriending them. They suggest interventions and treatments to ‘cure’ them or make them more ‘normal’. They are very often treated less like human beings and more like creatures to be contained, trained, and locked away.
This is where my faith begins to crumble. It’s like kicking someone when they are down. These children bear enough of a burden from their disabilities – why must they further bear the burden of cruel or unenlightened people? Why does a merciful loving God allow that to happen, and especially allow it to happen over and over again?
These thoughts have invaded my mind even more now that Christmas and an increased spiritual environment are upon us. I don’t have any answers and I wish I did. I wish my faith was enough to relax my soul, but it’s not. I wish, no, dream, for a blast of positive into the lives of children who have lived primarily in the negative.
I want to believe in a God that can turn all this around – I really do.