God Stuff

The Problem of Pain

This morning as I was driving to work I got to thinking about difficult things. I do this sometimes.

I was thinking about spiritual things. That are difficult.

But then I started to get a little pissed. At God. I get this way sometimes.

I mean, seriously:

If God doesn’t make mistakes, then why are babies sometimes born with only half a skull and even less brain matter? Why are some babies born dead, or why do they die in-utero?

If God supposedly has a “Master Plan” – in which he also allegedly does not make mistakes, and is supposed to ultimately work for good¬† – then why is there war? Why do people starve to death? Why are people raped and tortured and murdered by other people? Because things definitely did not work out for their good.

Why Oso? Why Fort Hood? Why Syria and Egypt and the Ukraine? Why the holocaust? Why Rwanda and the Congo and Bangladesh and Cambodia? Why Katrina and the big-ass twisters that leveled the elementary school in Oklahoma? Why Newtown and Columbine? And any other of the thousands of horrible things, historically speaking and presently, that I don’t have room to list?

I just don’t understand. I just don’t. And my drive to work was really depressing and angering and even a little bit scary, because of course, there were no answers to be had.

So I got to work, and here was my Word for the Day in my inbox:

“Catastrophe is the essence of the spiritual path, a series of breakdowns allowing us to discover the threads that weave all of life into a whole cloth.”¬† –Roshi Joan Halifax

**Whooof. **

Timing is everything, they say.

I know the answers my atheist friends would have ready for me, but I am not interested in those answers, because I have already heard them and although I will always respect both my friends and their views, I cannot – either intellectually or emotionally – subscribe to the idea of creation without a creator. Even though God really pisses me off with his infuriating silence, I still believe he exists, and I still believe – no matter how hard it gets – that somehow, some way, and some day – maybe a million years from now, it will all make sense and it will all be good.