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Thursday, April 02 2020

By: Anonymous.

I picked up a copy of your February 2020 Gazette, not long ago, and read the letter from the Winter Haven resident, regarding what to do when tragedy threatens one's Faith.

In no way am I a theologian, but I'd like to offer my thoughts, in full realization that the answers offered, may not offer much satisfaction. I'm reminded of something that my favorite professor once said: "I'll help you in any way I can, but I'm not a psychiatrist, a lawyer, or a banker."

To get to the heart of the matter, many years ago, a theologian wrote a helpful book entitled "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." Basically, it echoes Matthew 5:45, which says that the Father which is in heaven.... sendeth rain on the just and the unjust."

In other words, when you cry out, "Why me, Lord?" the answer is "Why NOT you?" To this writer, it angers me when I hear religious people say, with a touch of pride in their voice, something to the effect that the Lord was watching out for me, and made the tornado miss my house. In my opinion, that misses the whole point of our existence on this earth. There is an old episode of the TV show MASH, where Father Mulcahey was dealing with frustration and anger in his own life and came to realize that God didn't put us here to receive pats on the back. "He put us here so that He could be here Himself."

So, when tragedy strikes, and sooner or later, it strikes all of us, we are obligated to take care of one another. In a similar vein, our own parents knew better than to grant us every wish when we were small, but they didn't falter in their love for us. And we, as small children, did not falter in our love for our parents, even on the occasions when they could not totally assuage our frustration and disappointment. To quote a different episode of MASH:

Dr. Freedman (speaking to a shell-shocked patient who thought that he was Christ): "Is it true that God answers all prayers?"

Patient (Holding back tears): "Yes. And, sometimes, the answer is No."

Thank you for letting me express these thoughts.

About the Author: The author of this piece would like to remain anonymous.

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