Wednesday, March 30, 2011
God, Why Us? - by Joe
In our case, we had just spent a small fortune remodeling our old house in order to pass inspection for fostering-to-adopt a child. Then boom! Cancer. Adoption was no longer a possibility. Along with that heartbreak came confusion: neither of us have family histories of cancer! So why, why, why?
As Christians, we aimed the question at God. Were we agnostic/atheist it might have been railing at an unfair Universe. Either way, ignoring it just makes depression worse.
I think for both of us the question was a muddy mix of self-pity and sincerity. Emotional and intellectual. The answer has to be a personal one to move on, not some theology or scientific hypothesis. Amid the amazing theories well-meaning friends hurled our way (sinning, eating the wrong foods, stress, pollution, bad water, etc.) we have both achieved some sort of answer. I see it as a mystery and an opportunity to choose solidarity and empathy with others' suffering. On top of that, I think we both see cancer as just one of many realities from living in a 'fallen world' based on Jesus's teachings in the Gospels.
The benefits of facing the question we've found are many: less depression, less feeling sorry for ourselves, less energy drained, less despair. Not that the question doesn't still sit there. But there is a healthy truce.
For anyone reading this that is newly diagnosed, I urge you to wrestle honestly with the question and don't pretend it's not there. Keep wrestling until you find an answer you can live with.
As always, thank you so much for your amazing support!