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loydclayton

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Reply with quote  #1 

I was listening to Hawaii Public Radio on the way to work. They were discussing cancer. One caller called in to talk about her cancer and said "I had a double mastectomy. Last week I went to see my doctor for a followup and he told me that he had good news. My cancer has not spread to my lymph node and I will not have to have any radiation treatments. This is a gift from God!"

I have to admit, I struggle as a Christian. I can't honestly say that I believe everything, word-for-word that is in the Bible. At least not in a literal sense. While I believe in God I must confess that I question that belief all the time and when my time comes to pass on to the great beyond, I would not be at all surprised to find that I was wrong in my belief. Yes, I believe in God but often feel I could be totally wrong.

This woman's conversation is one of those things that brings more questions to mind. This woman had cancer and had to have a double mastectomy. It didn't spread to her lymph node so this was a "gift" from God.

When I hear this I can't help but wonder what kind of gift is this? Wouldn't a better gift have been for her to not have had cancer at all? Or if God really did reach down and stop the cancer from spreading to her lymph node, couldn't he have just as easily have reached down and cured the cancer before she had to have the double mastectomy? This woman is God's child. Would not a loving father have stopped this cancer if he could. All you fathers out there, the love you have for your child must truly be minuscule in comparison to the pure and untainted love of God. Yet with what little amount of love you possess, would you have not reached out and prevented this cancer in your child if you had the power to do so?

I know that some are going to comment about the Lord moving in mysterious ways. That there is a reason for all that he does. But that just doesn't cut it for me. I believe that people say that just because they do not want to consider that there may not be a God. Rather than voice the possibility that there may not be a God, they make excuses for him. Biblical loopholes that helps account for all that makes no sense.

I have not ruled out the existence of God. I want to believe. I'm trying Lord, but some days it's not easy....

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Phyllis Meighen

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Reply with quote  #2 
Good morning, Loyd,
I'm so glad you're still with the God Page.
I just haven't slowed down to Reply.
I remember your pondering this question for years.
Seeing it in the Garden Island and seeing the responses made me start to ponder it anew.

Ponder is a good word because with pondering we're not necessarily trying to figure things out or arrive at a definitive answer that satisfies our logical brain, which after all is only part of our brain, not the whole of it.

As we live in a world of meaning and the meaning-making that humans are wont to do, I ponder this way:



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Phyllis Meighen

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #3 
Good morning, Loyd,
I'm so glad you're still with the God Page.
I just haven't slowed down to Reply.
I remember your pondering this question for years.
Seeing it in the Garden Island and seeing the responses made me start to ponder it anew.

Ponder is a good word because with pondering we're not necessarily trying to figure things out or arrive at a definitive answer that satisfies our logical brain, which after all is only part of our brain, not the whole of it.

As we live in a world of meaning and the meaning-making that humans are wont to do, I ponder your worthwhile conundrum this way:

1.  God is in logic and beyond logic.  So also is a question of faith.
I will hold the logic part lightly as I explore the terrain beyond logic.

2.  I notice that we humans seem to learn the most and grow the most from our challenging times, the times we suffer, which calls us to examine our assumptions and expectations of the way we think things should be to make/keep us happy on the journey of life.

3.   We tend not to examine our happy times.  We just enjoy them.
They're more like pleasant train stops on life's journey.  The problem arises when we become attached to the stop instead of relishing the adventure of the journey which calls us to get back on board.

4.  And so the question becomes in the case of cancer and the woman
being grateful for the news that she only has to have radiation rather than move invasive procedures, why is this news interpreted as good news?

5.   First is to consider and accept (at least in part) that life proceeds through a process of birth-->growth and maturation-->decline-->new birth....and so it goes endlessly to create higher consciousness (growth) in a larger context (maturation) to see our humanity as part of God's whole creation.  

6.  The whole creation contains all within it--the dark and the light, the suffering and the joy, the nothing and the something.  I dare say, almost no one has been born into this world without a good deal of suffering, both mother and baby.  Only mother has the consciousness (that we know about) to recognize and name what's happening. . . and out of that comes new life for both to continue the process.

7.  And what say, thank you?  Gratitude opens our heart to receive and to give love.  Isn't that a treasure?  If we can see the bigger picture, we can give thanks that we're given the circumstances and the emotional tools we need to go through the suffering for a new appreciation of life and its ultimate purpose:  love in relationships.

That's as far as I'm going now because I have to get to a doctor's appointment.  How's that for poignancy!
Thanks for the opportunity to spend a little time pondering with you.

In faith and hope,
Phyllis





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