Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Heart Is Still Aching

 

Twenty-five years ago, I was invited by a rabbi whom I’d interviewed for a book I was writing, to give a talk to a group of student rabbis and cantors. The students were attending a college in L.A. for their training, and I was invited to speak to them because I was a Jew who had essentially left my religion behind and became a Zen Buddhist. The rabbi who invited me thought I could shed some light on the reasons Jews were abandoning Judaism.

At the end of my talk (where I basically told my own story), we opened the floor for questions. Most people were kind and curious and, of course, disappointed that I wasn’t actively engaged in Judaism. I thought I’d made my own situation clear by explaining that I’d never connected with my heritage in a deep way and found that Zen fulfilled many of my hopes for a spiritual life.

At one point, a young man made the following statement: “It sounds to me as if you are a self-hating Jew.” He said it calmly with no rancor. I was very surprised at his comment, and responded equally as calmly and said that I thought his observation was incorrect, since I hadn’t left Judaism in anger, but because I hadn’t connected with it in a deep and meaningful way. I blamed no one for that outcome.

The next comment that surprised me was from one of the teachers, a rabbi, who said, “If you and I sat down to visit over a cup of coffee, you’d come back.” This time I was surprised at what I perceived as his arrogance and condescension. I just smiled and asked if there were any other questions from the group. In spite of the group’s overall receptivity, I had clearly hit a nerve with my reflections.

* * * * *

Fast forward 25 years. I was invited by a neighbor/friend who belongs to a local Hadassah chapter (Jewish woman’s group) to give a similar talk: she asked me to speak about my spiritual journey. Although I’m a public speaker, I’d never been asked to provide an overall view of my spiritual history, particularly since I’d returned to Judaism. I was touched that she asked me, and she also invited me to bring my book for sale. (@iwe and I also have a second book that has just been published; he’ll be telling you more about it soon.) The talk is this afternoon and I will let you know about the experience later.

* * * * *

The talk went well. Several people commented about how much they enjoyed and appreciated it. Afterward, I stayed to sell books and chat some more. And then a woman came up with her tragic story.

She said she didn’t believe in G-d. Her daughter died at a very young age, and G-d let her die, since G-d controls everything. In that moment, I just wanted to hug her and said how sorry I was. But I felt compelled to tell her quietly that G-d doesn’t control everything. Her rabbi had told her that He did. And what about the Holocaust, she asked. I asked her if she’d ever heard of “tzimtzum.” She hadn’t. I explained my understanding of tzimtzum was that G-d had pulled back his limitlessness from the world, so that he could create, so that we could have free will, and so natural phenomena (as painful as they may be) could take their course. G-d rarely intervenes. I could see her wrestling with my comments, so I let it go. I did add that if she ever wanted to talk about the idea that G-d doesn’t control everything, I hoped she’d call me.

My heart is still aching for her.

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  1. JennaStocker Member

    As a Christian I have to accept I don’t know the reasons behind the tragedies- and the blessings. But it’s a difficult leap of faith. I hope this lady finds peace. Thank you for sharing this.

    • #1
    • February 12, 2020, at 12:40 PM PST
    • 16 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I run into people who want to blame G-d when tragedy happens, but this loss was so close to home for this woman. To have spent her whole life feeling separate from G-d due to her loss, might be understandable by some, but it was painful to observe. Thanks @jennastocker.

    • #2
    • February 12, 2020, at 12:50 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. Manny Member

    I’m not a philosopher but I think free will and God in control are not mutually exclusive. The death of that woman’s child, assuming it wasn’t murdered, had nothing to do with free will. Yes you have free will, but God can control other things to offset that choice. Nonetheless, if the child died for some medical reason, that had nothing to do with free will.

    That said, philosophically I would approach the situation (albeit I’m Christian of the Catholic variety) to say that there was a greater good to be arrive at in that child’s human tragic life, and that there will be a greater joy in the next life. Of course I wouldn’t tell that to anyone suffering. One in that situation just needs consolation.

    • #3
    • February 12, 2020, at 12:57 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  4. PHenry Member

    Susan Quinn: I asked her if she’d ever heard of “tzimtzum.”

    The term is new to me, but the concept is one I have long embraced. I never ask ‘why would G-d allow that to happen?” because I understand that we have free will. It’s like asking why a parent would let their 40 year old child smoke cigarettes, live with someone outside of marriage, etc. It is because they love their child, and a big part of that is letting that (adult) child make their own choices, mistakes, successes, and their own way in the world. So it is with G-d and the world.

     

    • #4
    • February 12, 2020, at 1:09 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Manny (View Comment):

    I’m not a philosopher but I think free will and God in control are not mutually exclusive. The death of that woman’s child, assuming it wasn’t murdered, had nothing to do with free will. Yes you have free will, but God can control other things to offset that choice. Nonetheless, if the child died for some medical reason, that had nothing to do with free will.

    That said, philosophically I would approach the situation (albeit I’m Christian of the Catholic variety) to say that there was a greater good to be arrive at in that child’s human tragic life, and that there will be a greater joy in the next life. Of course I wouldn’t tell that to anyone suffering. One in that situation just needs consolation.

    You are correct, @manny. The key point is that G-d pulls back and one outcome is free will. It also means that we can’t to expect Him to intervene when people are deathly ill. We never know when He will, but we can’t expect it. Or he may intervene in another way, as you said.

    • #5
    • February 12, 2020, at 1:15 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I edited the original post to be clearer, and to say:

    “I explained my understanding of tzimtzum was that G-d had pulled back his limitlessness from the world, so that he could create, so that we could have free will, and so natural phenomena (as painful as they may be) could take their course. G-d rarely intervenes.”

    • #6
    • February 12, 2020, at 1:18 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    PHenry (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: I asked her if she’d ever heard of “tzimtzum.”

    The term is new to me, but the concept is one I have long embraced. I never ask ‘why would G-d allow that to happen?” because I understand that we have free will. It’s like asking why a parent would let their 40 year old child smoke cigarettes, live with someone outside of marriage, etc. It is because they love their child, and a big part of that is letting that (adult) child make their own choices, mistakes, successes, and their own way in the world. So it is with G-d and the world.

     

    @phenry, a number of the women talked about their children’s intermarriages; some tried to take it in stride, others were clearly struggling.

    • #7
    • February 12, 2020, at 1:22 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Coolidge
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Manny (View Comment):

    I’m not a philosopher but I think free will and God in control are not mutually exclusive. The death of that woman’s child, assuming it wasn’t murdered, had nothing to do with free will. Yes you have free will, but God can control other things to offset that choice. Nonetheless, if the child died for some medical reason, that had nothing to do with free will.

    That said, philosophically I would approach the situation (albeit I’m Christian of the Catholic variety) to say that there was a greater good to be arrive at in that child’s human tragic life, and that there will be a greater joy in the next life. Of course I wouldn’t tell that to anyone suffering. One in that situation just needs consolation.

    When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, they were removed from Eden where God’s order reigned freely, dressed in animal skins, and left in the disordered world we know today. As a Christian, I know that God has offered us a route back into His good order and out of our self-made disorder. In the meantime, may He give us the strength to endure.

    • #8
    • February 12, 2020, at 1:55 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. Bryan McAllister Coolidge

    Susan Quinn: In that moment, I just wanted to hug her, and said how sorry I was. But I felt compelled to tell her quietly that G-d doesn’t control everything. Her rabbi had told her that He did. And what about the Holocaust, she asked. I asked her if she’d ever heard of “tzimtzum.” She hadn’t. I explained my understanding of tzimtzum was that G-d had pulled back his limitlessness from the world, so that he could create, so that we could have free will, and so natural phenomena (as painful as they may be) could take their course. G-d rarely intervenes. I could see her wrestling with my comments, so I let it go. I did add that if she ever wanted to talk about the idea that G-d doesn’t control everything, I hoped she’d call me.

    Powerful stuff, Susan. I’m with you – having that connection is critical, and powerful. Thank you for sharing that part of your journey! We are all in this together, and it is amazing what we can do if we choose to connect with each other – to embrace that connection.

    • #9
    • February 12, 2020, at 2:02 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  10. JustmeinAZ Member

    I am always annoyed by people who have lost their faith because of some personal tragedy or loss. They had not lost their faith when tragedies happened to others, only to themselves. Horrible things happen all over the world every day but their faith remains intact. It’s a very selfish way of thinking.

    • #10
    • February 12, 2020, at 2:34 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  11. Doug Watt Moderator

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I run into people who want to blame G-d when tragedy happens, but this loss was so close to home for this woman. To have spent her whole life feeling separate from G-d due to her loss, might be understandable by some, but it was painful to observe. Thanks @jennastocker.

    I have no answer to the question why. I’ve seen death come for those that didn’t deserve it, and I’ve seen it come for those that worked for their demise. I just let those who were left behind to grieve by allowing them to ask why, and my response was to put an arm around their shoulder, or to hold their hand, and listened to the sorrow and even the anger without saying a word.

    • #11
    • February 12, 2020, at 2:49 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  12. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I run into people who want to blame G-d when tragedy happens, but this loss was so close to home for this woman. To have spent her whole life feeling separate from G-d due to her loss, might be understandable by some, but it was painful to observe. Thanks @jennastocker.

    It seems to be very normal to blame God when bad things happen, that are so bad that one’s spirit is crushed.

    I gave up on God when my mother became histrionic and basically imprisoned me in my bedroom for the four years of my high school experience. The damage she did to me was horrendous, including almost weekly threats of how she could send me to a mental asylum where my father would not even know where I was to find me.

    She was capable of doing this. But she was seen by my teachers and the neighbors as a local paragon of virtue, whose house was spotless, whose clothes were everything the fashion mags of the early 1960’s dictated, and the neighborhood saw me as the troublesome daughter.

    I returned to believing in God when I had a near death experience at the age of 21, when a miscarriage caused me to almost hemorrhage to death.

    I do not even like to use the word God as that expression invokes the notion of the patriarchal Guy sitting on a cloud, judging us and consigning us to fire and brimstone for our mistakes, even our minor mistakes. What I experienced in the Home Dimension was a vast and all comprehending Kindred Spirit, who had only approval and compassion and deep abiding love for me.

    I wish that everyone could have this experience as it lets us see that whatever tragic events descend on us, the real Reality is quite different and we are not forgotten or abandoned, no matter how grievous the tragedy we are suffering.

     

    • #12
    • February 12, 2020, at 3:02 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  13. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Why do bad things happen to good people?” is the question people ask, but it is the
    wrong question. Bad things happen to good people because God allows it. He knows
    horrible things will happen, not just the choice of evil, but things that are totally random.
    He lets it happen. The real question people should ask is “Why is God willing to let bad
    things happen to good people?”. It is a hard question. As a loving father, I would never
    let bad things happen to my kids if I could avoid it. Where is the God of love, the
    Heavenly Father when my neighbor dies of cancer leaving a wife and two boys? This is
    the test of faith to me. How can I believe in the Christian God with this question
    unanswered? How can anyone?
    I do not think we can know the answer to that question. At least, no one has ever given
    me a good answer that quiets the doubt of my soul. The Being that created the vast
    Universe that we know, and all that we must not know, is further from us than we are
    from a virus. There is even less way for us to understand the reasoning of God, than our
    ancestors understood the Earth circled the Sun, and not the other way around. The
    Universe unfolds as God intended. It is unnecessary that any of us understand the Why.
    But humans are superstitious animals. We want power; we want the magic over those
    things we cannot control. In the modern world we control so much that we forget how
    powerless we really our. It is in that powerlessness that we want the magic. We want to
    pray in just the right way, with the right prayer in the hopes we unlock the magic and get
    the results we want. If things go the way we want, it reinforces that belief in magic.
    That is not how it works. We are guaranteed to “lose”. We all die, alone, torn asunder
    from all Earthly binds and relationships. No prayer will stop that. What we have in Christ
    is the promise, not that life or death on Earth will be golden, but that life hereafter will be
    perfect. That’s the promise. We are told to live our lives like Christ, but we fall short. If
    He, perfect as he was, had to die, alone on the cross, what else should we expect? The
    blessings of God say nothing about how easy life will be. The true blessing is the promise
    of life hereafter, and that no matter how alone, how apart we are from the things of Earth,
    God is there with us, and he is there waiting for us in our perfect lives to come.
    That is my two cents, anyway.
    Job 38 4:11

    • #13
    • February 12, 2020, at 3:22 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    I have no answer to the question why. I’ve seen death come for those that didn’t deserve it, and I’ve seen it come for those that worked for their demise. I just let those who were left behind to grieve by allowing them to ask why, and my response was to put an arm around their shoulder, or to hold their hand, and listened to the sorrow and even the anger without saying a word.

    I think when the loss is fresh and especially painful, offering non-verbal comfort is best, and might have been my best response, @dougwatt. But decades had passed, and selfishly I wanted to offer a way out of her pain.

    • #14
    • February 12, 2020, at 3:48 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    I wish that everyone could have this experience as it lets us see that whatever tragic events descend on us, the real Reality is quite different and we are not forgotten or abandoned, no matter how grievous the tragedy we are suffering.

    How awesome–what you were able to overcome. And yes, @caroljoy, we are never alone.

    • #15
    • February 12, 2020, at 3:49 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  16. Skyler Coolidge

    My daughter was born (very healthy) after a very difficult labor. Afterwards in the NICU (which was an extreme over reaction by the hospital) a nurse gushed and said something to the effect that “god is so wonderful to give us such babies.”

    I told her that if a god were part of the “design” then damn it for being so incompetent to make child birth so painful. I still feel that way and even were there a god, which of course there isn’t, I do not wish to be associated with such gross incompetence.

    It’s perplexing that people can simultaneously speak of free will, as Susan did here, and yet some still pray for salvation from worldly evils.

    • #16
    • February 12, 2020, at 5:10 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Skyler (View Comment):
    told her that if a god were part of the “design” then damn it for being so incompetent to make child birth so painful. I still feel that way and even were there a god, which of course there isn’t, I do not wish to be associated with such gross incompetence.

    So given the trauma that childbirth causes to a woman, what would you have recommended G-d provide instead, @skyler? G-d doesn’t exist to make our lives easier; He exists to provide us comfort when we are in those difficult times. Maybe G-d should have had women lay eggs?

    • #17
    • February 12, 2020, at 5:41 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  18. Manny Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I’m not a philosopher but I think free will and God in control are not mutually exclusive. The death of that woman’s child, assuming it wasn’t murdered, had nothing to do with free will. Yes you have free will, but God can control other things to offset that choice. Nonetheless, if the child died for some medical reason, that had nothing to do with free will.

    That said, philosophically I would approach the situation (albeit I’m Christian of the Catholic variety) to say that there was a greater good to be arrive at in that child’s human tragic life, and that there will be a greater joy in the next life. Of course I wouldn’t tell that to anyone suffering. One in that situation just needs consolation.

    You are correct, @manny. The key point is that G-d pulls back and one outcome is free will. It also means that we can’t to expect Him to intervene when people are deathly ill. We never know when He will, but we can’t expect it. Or he may intervene in another way, as you said.

    The way you phrased it originally seemed awfully close to the deist view that God is a watchmaker who wound the “clock” and just lets it run. I know that’s not the Christian way of conceptualizing God and I’m pretty certain it’s not the Jewish way either, though I can’t be a hundred percent sure.

    • #18
    • February 12, 2020, at 6:00 PM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Skyler Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    told her that if a god were part of the “design” then damn it for being so incompetent to make child birth so painful. I still feel that way and even were there a god, which of course there isn’t, I do not wish to be associated with such gross incompetence.

    So given the trauma that childbirth causes to a woman, what would you have recommended G-d provide instead, @skyler? G-d doesn’t exist to make our lives easier; He exists to provide us comfort when we are in those difficult times. Maybe G-d should have had women lay eggs?

    Fixed it for you! :)

    I wouldn’t recommend it provide anything because it doesn’t exist. Wishing it were so does not make it so. It would be nice if there were a reward for being a good person, beyond simple self-respect; it would be nice if after we died we still existed in some happy pleasure land. But as the Spartans say, “If.”

    • #19
    • February 12, 2020, at 6:01 PM PST
    • 1 like
  20. Manny Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Maybe G-d should have had women lay eggs?

    Hahahaha! That’s a pretty funny image.

    • #20
    • February 12, 2020, at 6:08 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Manny (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I’m not a philosopher but I think free will and God in control are not mutually exclusive. The death of that woman’s child, assuming it wasn’t murdered, had nothing to do with free will. Yes you have free will, but God can control other things to offset that choice. Nonetheless, if the child died for some medical reason, that had nothing to do with free will.

    That said, philosophically I would approach the situation (albeit I’m Christian of the Catholic variety) to say that there was a greater good to be arrive at in that child’s human tragic life, and that there will be a greater joy in the next life. Of course I wouldn’t tell that to anyone suffering. One in that situation just needs consolation.

    You are correct, @manny. The key point is that G-d pulls back and one outcome is free will. It also means that we can’t to expect Him to intervene when people are deathly ill. We never know when He will, but we can’t expect it. Or he may intervene in another way, as you said.

    The way you phrased it originally seemed awfully close to the deist view that God is a watchmaker who wound the “clock” and just lets it run. I know that’s not the Christian way of conceptualizing God and I’m pretty certain it’s not the Jewish way either, though I can’t be a hundred percent sure.

    The way I see it, I do believe G-d touches our lives in many ways. But I don’t think we can know if, when or how it will happen. 

    • #21
    • February 12, 2020, at 6:14 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  22. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    told her that if a god were part of the “design” then damn it for being so incompetent to make child birth so painful. I still feel that way and even were there a god, which of course there isn’t, I do not wish to be associated with such gross incompetence.

    So given the trauma that childbirth causes to a woman, what would you have recommended G-d provide instead, @skyler? G-d doesn’t exist to make our lives easier; He exists to provide us comfort when we are in those difficult times. Maybe G-d should have had women lay eggs?

    Fixed it for you! :)

    I wouldn’t recommend it provide anything because it doesn’t exist. Wishing it were so does not make it so. It would be nice if there were a reward for being a good person, beyond simple self-respect; it would be nice if after we died we still existed in some happy pleasure land. But as the Spartans say, “If.”

    You seem very (and I believe I am using the term correctly) evangelical in your atheism. What’s it to you anyway? If you are so comfortable in your disbelief, why do you feel compelled to intrude? Not like these sorts of posts are doing you any harm.

    • #22
    • February 12, 2020, at 7:38 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  23. Skyler Coolidge

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    told her that if a god were part of the “design” then damn it for being so incompetent to make child birth so painful. I still feel that way and even were there a god, which of course there isn’t, I do not wish to be associated with such gross incompetence.

    So given the trauma that childbirth causes to a woman, what would you have recommended G-d provide instead, @skyler? G-d doesn’t exist to make our lives easier; He exists to provide us comfort when we are in those difficult times. Maybe G-d should have had women lay eggs?

    Fixed it for you! :)

    I wouldn’t recommend it provide anything because it doesn’t exist. Wishing it were so does not make it so. It would be nice if there were a reward for being a good person, beyond simple self-respect; it would be nice if after we died we still existed in some happy pleasure land. But as the Spartans say, “If.”

    You seem very (and I believe I am using the term correctly) evangelical in your atheism. What’s it to you anyway? If you are so comfortable in your disbelief, why do you feel compelled to intrude? Not like these sorts of posts are doing you any harm.

    Thanks! Nor are mine harming you.

    • #23
    • February 12, 2020, at 7:53 PM PST
    • Like
  24. kedavis Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    told her that if a god were part of the “design” then damn it for being so incompetent to make child birth so painful. I still feel that way and even were there a god, which of course there isn’t, I do not wish to be associated with such gross incompetence.

    So given the trauma that childbirth causes to a woman, what would you have recommended G-d provide instead, @skyler? G-d doesn’t exist to make our lives easier; He exists to provide us comfort when we are in those difficult times. Maybe G-d should have had women lay eggs?

    What makes you think laying eggs wouldn’t hurt as much, or more? Especially if they’re hard!

    • #24
    • February 12, 2020, at 8:19 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve been trying to find the source for a bit, but my memory of the specifics are at this point muddled as to who related this story, and when. A priest was giving a talk at a church as a guest, I think as part of a Lenten retreat, and he was talking about, among other things, how difficult it often is for those who are deeply burdened with life’s sorrows to face them – many at the test crumple (I think most of us do, really), and they never get up again. There are many things that can keep us away – often it’s our own pride and shame combined, while for others it is anger at GD for some injustice or another. In the case of anger, he said it is right that we actually bring that before the Lord, and like Jacob wrestle and have it out. [A different priest I know said that in his rougher times he would be effectively shouting at GD (knowing him, it might have been actual shouting).] Well, at the conclusion of this talk, as people were socializing and departing, this priest noticed a woman hanging back and walking towards an icon stand. And there she stood, not shouting, but definitely angry – he didn’t hear the words, just the tone, and the gesticulations of her arms left little doubt of her fury.

    Later this guest priest asked the parish priest who she was. He was told that he had last seen this woman 10 years prior for the funeral of her teenage daughter. After that weekend she started coming to church again – not all at once of course, but gradually. Doubts, even ones stemming from anger or sorrow or disappointment, are natural, but all too often we hear that doubts need to be shunted aside. “Just have faith!” we hear, as though faith is somehow nothing more than the absence of doubt, and if we have doubts then we must be lacking in faith, or failing to believe. It’s nonsense, but it’s the sort of nonsense that will drive people out.

    • #25
    • February 12, 2020, at 8:23 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  26. Manny Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I run into people who want to blame G-d when tragedy happens, but this loss was so close to home for this woman. To have spent her whole life feeling separate from G-d due to her loss, might be understandable by some, but it was painful to observe. Thanks @jennastocker.

    As I was contemplating this, Susan, it occurred to me that people who fall into this despair, do they consider how many times tragedy did not befall them? How many times God may have prevented an accident that day or this hour or He in His mercy has righted a DNA sequence that did not lead to cancer? When you consider how tenuous life is, that it’s a miracle we live into our seventies and eighties, as if it’s all by accident? When you consider how caustic the universe is to life and yet we are blessed with this benevolent planet? Have such nihilists considered that we exist at all and that the earth has not fragmented into pieces beneath our feet? And that food is available and recurring from a benevolent source? Did they stop to consider that their heart has been beating and continuous to beat and their lives are being sustained and that some artery in the brain is not bursting at any given moment?

    Did they ever realize how much non-tragedy occurs in their lives? Did they ever stop to thank God for every precious second of blessing?

    • #26
    • February 12, 2020, at 8:30 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  27. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I run into people who want to blame G-d when tragedy happens, but this loss was so close to home for this woman. To have spent her whole life feeling separate from G-d due to her loss, might be understandable by some, but it was painful to observe. Thanks @jennastocker.

    I have no answer to the question why. I’ve seen death come for those that didn’t deserve it, and I’ve seen it come for those that worked for their demise. I just let those who were left behind to grieve by allowing them to ask why, and my response was to put an arm around their shoulder, or to hold their hand, and listened to the sorrow and even the anger without saying a word.

    There are some things that words just can’t do. 

    • #27
    • February 12, 2020, at 11:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. Zafar Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    What makes you think laying eggs wouldn’t hurt as much, or more? Especially if they’re hard!

    And then hatching them….

    • #28
    • February 13, 2020, at 2:22 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. kedavis Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    What makes you think laying eggs wouldn’t hurt as much, or more? Especially if they’re hard!

    And then hatching them….

    I’ve had… debates… in other settings with women who believe that childbirth is the most painful thing anyone can experience. Not based on any real measurements or anything, they just Know. And you can’t tell them they’re wrong. Because they Know. Even women who have had both kidney stones and have given birth, telling them that kidney stones are worse, are ignored. They Just Know.

    Kinda makes you wonder.

    • #29
    • February 13, 2020, at 3:21 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m not a theologian just a skeptic who chooses to believe that God exists so take this with a grain of salt.
    It seems to me the question people in sorrow are really asking is, “Why doesn’t God do what I would do if I were as powerful as He is?” My answer, for my self, never vocalized, is, “Because He is not me.” I am not God and you should be quite glad I’m not because if I were things would be really screwed up. I’m not Omnipotent nor Omniscient, so who am I to judge the One who is?
    Furthermore, the One who lets bad things happen also created a planet designed to meet my every need, that’s pretty awesome even if He never did anything else for me which of course He has done.

    I don’t mean this to be unfeeling but it’s just how I reconcile what seems to many to be irreconcilable.

    • #30
    • February 13, 2020, at 3:37 AM PST
    • 11 likes