Thursday, August 8, 2013
As Mormons we tend to express our faith quietly and feel our exhilaration inwardly. Our hallelujahs are in our hymns while our amens remain in our prayers. While in Connecticut, new members to our faith would often express their emotions in our meetings with the language to which they were accustom. Praise the Lord and Praise God would be loudly heard. I often wished that I had the courage to do the same. But my culture was different.
Today has been a really good day. My health score is 98.6. It started with a visit to a friend whose father miraculously recovered from a deadly brain cancer four years ago. But now it is coming back. We spoke of life and death, faith and hope, and ultimately we arrived at that unanswerable question, "why do some live while others die?" This is a hard question. Two soldiers in war: one dies one survives. Two teens in a car accident; two patients with the same disease. All were being prayed for. What does this mean to the faith of those praying? Why is it essential that we require cause and effect for all outcomes, whether good or bad? Then come the theological non sequiturs. "Why did God actively cause this death?" "Why did God passively allow this death?" and finally, "God is cruel, so I will reject Him." I truly do not understand these sentiments as they go against everything that I understand about this world and God. Bad things happen for both random and human controlled reasons. God understands and supports us thereby allowing us to then respond in a way that teaches us who we really are and what we are capable of. To do otherwise would rob us of our true purpose for existence. Yet, there are also times when we feel His influence leading us to miraculous moments. I do not now nor likely ever will understand why these outcome differences exist. I defer to His wisdom.
Then one day a few weeks ago I realized that I had it backwards. Death is not a curse, it is a blessing. Well, maybe not to the individual dying, rather to our world as a whole. Imagine, for a minute, a world in which there was no death. What would it be like? What defines a cancer cell? It is a cell that never dies; it is immortal. This would be fine if the cell was also perfect. On the contrary, these cells are corrupted. They do bad and unnatural things. It would be the same with immortal humans. They would remain selfish and vengeful. When the space and resources eventually ran low the stronger, more clever and cunning ones would subjugate and contain the rest for eternity. It would be hell on earth. Immortality only works with perfected souls.
In life we fulfill our purpose. In death we move on. It is the loved that remain who feel the pain. This may be why we choose not to talk about death; yet it is not a failure of faith rather its fulfillment.
Barbie commented this evening that she has noticed that my health has significantly improved over the last few months, even on chemotherapy. She is right. I feel wonderful most of the time. I tried to think of a reason why I am doing so well. My logic remained vacant. All I was left with was the strong feeling to consider God's continuing miracles in my life.
Praise God! Hallelujah! Amen and amen.