Monday, February 8, 2010

I Sent You

It may make sense for a sick man to pray for health
and then take medicine, but I fail to see any sense
in his praying for health and then drinking poison.

Thomas Merton

Why does God allow so much suffering in the world? Why would a loving God allow children to die of cancer? Why are so many people starving? Why is there war? Where is God?

Sometimes we look at the evil in the world and ask these sorts of questions. We ask them as if they require no answer, as if no answer is possible. Perhaps we even find some relief in asking them, as if by raising the question we show our concern. We ask "Why Lord?" and blind ourselves to the obvious.

These questions cannot be answered because they are not the right questions.

Why does God allow so much suffering in the world? This is not an intelligent question. The question is: why do we? Have we done so much to alleviate these problems that we need Divine assistance? We look to God for answers because we are afraid to look to ourselves.

People die of cancer because we have poisoned them. People starve because we are unwilling to share with them. We spend hundreds of billions on weapons and wonder why we fight wars. Why blame God? Why do we allow so much suffering in the world? That is the question we need to ask.

Where your heart is, there your treasure will also be. Where is our treasure? Where does the money go? The answer to this reveals our priorities. The answer is ugly, painful to consider, but it's true. We could do worse than to ask the right question and answer it truthfully.

It would be a start.

There is a modern parable, perhaps you have heard it. A man prayed saying: "Lord, there is so much evil in the world. Why don't you send someone to do something about it?"

The Lord heard him and replied: "I did send someone. I sent you."

Respectfully Yours,



Ananda girl said...

What a fantastic post! I hear that question often and have never had an answer. Now I have something to say! You make a lot of sense on this issue. Thank you for sharing it, Cricket. I have always said... I don't know why, but I still have faith. Not a very meaty answer.

Pauline said...


Unknown said...

You've summed up the answer quite well Cricket, it's all up to us!

Land of shimp said...

One of my favorite quotes is from Gandhi: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

I liked this Cricket. It is something that is frequently brought up, and it would help the world tremendously if there was less debating that, and more fixing of the actual problems.

Cricket said...

Ananda - Thank you, and you're welcome.

Gaston - I don't know if I would say it's all up to us. On the other hand, I do not pray for the Lord to miraculously tie my shoes. We need to use our human resources first.

Suldog said...

I agree with every word of this. Not much else to add. Nicely written.

Land of shimp said...

Cricket, I'll render myself a drippy mess if I repeat my comment to you over at my blog, and I'd hate to stain the floor here. I just wanted to say a heartfelt thanks.

I find I don't express things well, the closer they get to emotional truths, but I'm going to try: That meant a lot to me. I know I've told you that I haven't quite ever pinned down what it is that I believe, I think we all might be reaching out to something huge, and beyond our current understanding, but that's a subject for a different time.

I'm just saying, it meant a great deal that you mentioned me to Hilary, because I know you do have faith, and I've always wondered if perhaps I hadn't had a brush with the workings of a higher power on that plane. Just so many circumstances aligning, right down to seat assignment, and confiding in someone who...well, pretty clearly, I took it seriously.

Maybe anyone sitting there would have but it felt very...constructed by something I don't quite grasp. So, that's what I'm trying to say, it felt like a further confirmation to have a person I know possesses faith to have noted that too.

Thank you, very much.

lime said...

my friend, you have a gift of insight that can only be aspired to by many who present themselves as wise. well said, well done.