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Another Experience With Suffering


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This was written by my daughter:

 

When I first met God, I had big dreams. I read about the miracles in the Gospels and Acts and wanted that kind of Holy Spirit manifestation for my life and my area. As a part of my job, I had the opportunity to work with a lot of high-profile people and see that though they had great material and social success, their lives were empty and they were miserable. Desperate for everyone to know the joy I had from knowing God, I would walk the streets praying for God to come down in His power.

 

Then I went to a country in Africa as a part of a study abroad program at my college. I planned to work in an orphanage, spending my time bringing new life and hope to the hurting and broken. But NOTHING could have prepared me for the horrors I witnessed there. I watched children starve to death not from lack of resources, but because the powers that were didn't think those children were worth the time it took to feed them. I watched an AIDS orphan die because no one thought his life was worth saving. And I watched children scream in desperation as they watched their parents walk away and leave them in this place. I, with all my dreams and with all my “Holy Spirit infusion,” was completely powerless. It's one thing to have nice arguments about how a good God can allow suffering while you're living the cushy American life. It's another thing to live among it and feel like you're watching God do nothing.

 

I felt God had betrayed me. I felt He had led me to believe He was this kind, loving, merciful Father, but he was really an arbitrary, sadistic dictator. And I hated Him for what He was allowing those children to go through. Honestly, I hated Him even more for making me witness their suffering. After I returned to America, suffering was all I could see. As a student teacher, I worked with children from broken families who, though they technically had parents, were desperate for love. At the job where I worked with high-profile people, I was given pat answers from those who couldn't look up from their blackberry long enough to care. And at home, I watched my family – those who had dedicated their lives to God for decades – get beaten down again and again as they paid for trying to live a Godly life in a corrupt society.

 

Having grown up being taught about God (I don't consider that I actually met God until I was 18), I was desperate to reconcile my experiences with the God I thought I knew. But when I talked to people at church, I felt that no one understood what I was going through and had no answer other than to quote meaningless church phrases at me. I tried to read the Bible, but it just made me angry at a God who didn't seem to do miracles like that anymore. When I prayed, I felt alone. I never thought that maybe God didn't exist. I had met Him. I had heard Him speak to me. I had felt His presence, felt how much He loved me, and felt how He had given my life meaning where before I had felt so empty. So I didn't believe God didn't exist. I believed He had abandoned me, and that hurt more than anything else that had happened to me. I missed the God I thought I had known, and hated the cruel, detached being that had taken His place.

 

I fought serious depression for years. I couldn't ignore the suffering I was seeing all around me, but I couldn't possibly take it on by myself either. Every day I exhausted myself and God didn't help me. I stopped going to church, stopped reading my Bible, stopped doing anything but trying to survive each day.

 

Answers came slowly. God started to show me that I felt God wasn't there because I wasn't where God wanted me to be. I was demanding that God do what I thought He should do – trying to drag Him along as I went about my plans instead of running to where He was and staying there. I was spending all my energy fighting God, so I didn't have any left to spend fighting suffering. God sees the suffering, and He's desperate to do something about it. But God works through people, and there are pathetically few people that will give their lives to God and allow Him to work through them.

 

I'm reminded of a time before I went to Africa when I was working with a woman who was bitter and hurting. I prayed that God would touch her, show her His incredible love for her. I felt Him telling me, “I can't touch her. She won't let me. But she's letting you touch her, so I'll have to touch her through you.” When I saw people bringing suffering on themselves or others, of course God was trying to speak to them. But He doesn't force people to listen to Him, and they often don't of their own choice. But there's a chance they'll listen to people, so God needs people who will let Him speak through them.

 

When I was praying, I was yelling at God for not doing anything, when He was trying to do something. He was trying to mold me into a person He could use to bring His presence into a dying world, and all I was doing was fighting Him because He wasn't addressing suffering the way I wanted Him to.

 

I'm not saying my life is perfect now. When God uses people, there's a pretty incredible process they go through as He strengthens them and trains them. When I train for a race, the training process is quite painful. But for me, the reward is worth it. And I can tell you, if I resent the pain and get worked up about it, I expend a lot of energy that only exhausts me more quickly. But if I accept the pain and focus on what I want to accomplish, the endorphins eventually come.

 

I'm desperate to see suffering ended in this world, which means that I'm desperate to grow into someone God can use. I'm tired of fighting God and wasting time. If I can one day save just one of those children in that orphanage, all the pain I've been through will have been worth it. And I now know that though God will never blindly follow my own agenda – however well-meaning my agenda might be – He will never leave me.

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Guest Valk0010

 

 

I never thought that maybe God didn't exist.

That is where she went wrong right there, she went to hate, instead of questioning existence. I never went to hate, I immediately went to put it in scientific terms, question the hypothesis.

 

On another point entirely, I wonder, God if you really do exist why did you pick the lousiest intercessor you possibly could to stop people from suffering.

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I'm sure you're proud of your daughter, Walker. She sounds like a lovely person with a golden heart.

I agree, but if he is indirectly trying to refute the problem of evil by this, its lousy.

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I didn't read it. Would anyone care to tell me if it is dripping with emotion?

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I'm sure you're proud of your daughter, Walker. She sounds like a lovely person with a golden heart.

I agree, but if he is indirectly trying to refute the problem of evil by this, its lousy.

 

I don't know his motive for posting this. But it appears to have been written by his daughter. And anyone who genuinely questions god and hates suffering has my respect. That's what I meant.

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I didn't read it. Would anyone care to tell me if it is dripping with emotion?

 

Yes. The emotional story of a young woman who went to Africa with no true understanding of what suffering really is. When she got there she saw such suffering as she had never known existed. This made her question and even hate god. After time she reconciled her hatred for god with an understanding that god only works through people to ease the suffering in the world. In my mind, that's a pretty good way to look at it, though I don't agree with the young lady that god works through people. Rather, it is that people must do it without being pushed by a non-existent god. But her reconciliation achieves the same purpose because at least she is not one who believes that all she has to do is pray and then she has done her part. She understands that we all have to roll up our sleeves and get the job done if it is going to get done.

 

That's my take, anyway.

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I didn't read it. Would anyone care to tell me if it is dripping with emotion?

 

Yes. The emotional story of a young woman who went to Africa with no true understanding of what suffering really is. When she got there she saw such suffering as she had never known existed. This made her question and even hate god. After time she reconciled her hatred for god with an understanding that god only works through people to ease the suffering in the world. In my mind, that's a pretty good way to look at it, though I don't agree with the young lady that god works through people. Rather, it is that people must do it without being pushed by a non-existent god. But her reconciliation achieves the same purpose because at least she is not one who believes that all she has to do is pray and then she has done her part. She understands that we all have to roll up our sleeves and get the job done if it is going to get done.

 

That's my take, anyway.

Ah yes, thank you for the synopsis OF. If your take is accurate then she has my vote also.

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I'm sure you're proud of your daughter, Walker. She sounds like a lovely person with a golden heart.

Thank you - that's very nice of you to say. I witnessed her suffering, and I couldn't really do much. I am very glad she is strong ... and strong enough to continue to work in situations many don't want to see.

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I never thought that maybe God didn't exist.

That is where she went wrong right there, she went to hate, instead of questioning existence. I never went to hate, I immediately went to put it in scientific terms, question the hypothesis.

 

On another point entirely, I wonder, God if you really do exist why did you pick the lousiest intercessor you possibly could to stop people from suffering.

Lousiest intercessor?

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I'm sure you're proud of your daughter, Walker. She sounds like a lovely person with a golden heart.

Thank you - that's very nice of you to say. I witnessed her suffering, and I couldn't really do much. I am very glad she is strong ... and strong enough to continue to work in situations many don't want to see.

 

What kind of work is she doing now, Walker, if you don't mind my asking? I take it she is teaching disadvantaged children in school?

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I'm sure you're proud of your daughter, Walker. She sounds like a lovely person with a golden heart.

I agree, but if he is indirectly trying to refute the problem of evil by this, its lousy.

I don't know his motive for posting this. But it appears to have been written by his daughter. And anyone who genuinely questions god and hates suffering has my respect. That's what I meant.

My motive - I've been thinking about how different people struggle with suffering. I've been wondering why some leave God and some stay. Many here have left - my daughter's experience just provides a different reaction.

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I didn't read it. Would anyone care to tell me if it is dripping with emotion?

Yes. The emotional story of a young woman who went to Africa with no true understanding of what suffering really is. When she got there she saw such suffering as she had never known existed. This made her question and even hate god. After time she reconciled her hatred for god with an understanding that god only works through people to ease the suffering in the world. In my mind, that's a pretty good way to look at it, though I don't agree with the young lady that god works through people. Rather, it is that people must do it without being pushed by a non-existent god. But her reconciliation achieves the same purpose because at least she is not one who believes that all she has to do is pray and then she has done her part. She understands that we all have to roll up our sleeves and get the job done if it is going to get done.

 

That's my take, anyway.

You all crack me up!

 

Nice summary. :)

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I am glad that your daughter seems to be genuinely interested in alleviating suffering in the world, even if she needs a belief in a god to do so.

 

Your daughter has realized half of the truth about God, namely that God is powerless to help others, but people can. She just hasn't taken the final logical step, that the reason God is powerless is because he doesn't exist. Of course people are the ones who help people, because we are the only beings that can. But if she wants to attribute her actions and the actions of others to God because that brings her more comfort, that's fine.

 

Respectfully,

Franciscan Monkey

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I'm sure you're proud of your daughter, Walker. She sounds like a lovely person with a golden heart.

Thank you - that's very nice of you to say. I witnessed her suffering, and I couldn't really do much. I am very glad she is strong ... and strong enough to continue to work in situations many don't want to see.

What kind of work is she doing now, Walker, if you don't mind my asking? I take it she is teaching disadvantaged children in school?

She tutors children who, for various reasons, are behind in school. She goes into several different schools and to homes. I believe most of her students come from disadvantaged homes - some from homes where English is the second language ... but not all. She believes all children are smart enough to learn and do well, but many different things can hurt their learning ability (stress, various language disorders, focus issues, self-discipline challenges, expectations, fears, etc.). Everyone needs someone who believes in them, respects them, and sees them.

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When I was praying, I was yelling at God for not doing anything, when He was trying to do something. He was trying to mold me into a person He could use to bring His presence into a dying world, and all I was doing was fighting Him because He wasn't addressing suffering the way I wanted Him to.

 

This is where she decided she had done something wrong. It always happens with Christians, until they break out of the "I'm a corrupt sinner and there must be something wrong with me" idea. This is where she surrendered and basically gave up her mind.

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Guest Valk0010

I never thought that maybe God didn't exist.

That is where she went wrong right there, she went to hate, instead of questioning existence. I never went to hate, I immediately went to put it in scientific terms, question the hypothesis.

 

On another point entirely, I wonder, God if you really do exist why did you pick the lousiest intercessor you possibly could to stop people from suffering.

Lousiest intercessor?

He picked us to help us. If the christian stuff is true, that would be the lousiest choice, I used the word intercessor, to say we are supposedly working on gods behalf.

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What is the point of the story, walker,

suffering exists, horrible suffering, but doesn't prove or disprove any gods exists, all it proves is that man is a nasty little animal who has little regard to his fellow man (man as in human kind.)

 

did you daughter see the physical manifestation of god? No? how surprizing. Did some god come down from where ever they sit and laugh at human suffering and say, sorry sugar you aren't doing it my way so tough shit? I aint going to answer your feeble prayers and save any body from suffering, cause you ain't doing it MY way.

 

Get real suffering exists, god does not

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thank you walker for your daughter's story.

 

someone see the half glass of water, is it half empty or half full? I could not care less anymore.

 

It is just half glass of water, i can fill it up or offer it to a thirsty person. I leave the half full/empty argument for philosophers and whatnots.

 

Your daughter is a nice person.

 

i would have guess your purpose to write the sufferings in here for a different perspective, as many in exC see suffering a proof of god's non-existence but your daughter's experience is an ATTEMPT to show otherwise.

 

thank you for your daughter making the world a better place albeit for a "WRONG" reason.

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Answers came slowly. God started to show me that I felt God wasn't there because I wasn't where God wanted me to be. I was demanding that God do what I thought He should do – trying to drag Him along as I went about my plans instead of running to where He was and staying there. I was spending all my energy fighting God, so I didn't have any left to spend fighting suffering. God sees the suffering, and He's desperate to do something about it. But God works through people, and there are pathetically few people that will give their lives to God and allow Him to work through them.

 

I'm reminded of a time before I went to Africa when I was working with a woman who was bitter and hurting. I prayed that God would touch her, show her His incredible love for her. I felt Him telling me, “I can't touch her. She won't let me. But she's letting you touch her, so I'll have to touch her through you.” When I saw people bringing suffering on themselves or others, of course God was trying to speak to them. But He doesn't force people to listen to Him, and they often don't of their own choice. But there's a chance they'll listen to people, so God needs people who will let Him speak through them.

 

When I was praying, I was yelling at God for not doing anything, when He was trying to do something. He was trying to mold me into a person He could use to bring His presence into a dying world, and all I was doing was fighting Him because He wasn't addressing suffering the way I wanted Him to.

 

Well I guess there is no other conculsion you can possibly come to if you don't want your brain to melt from cognitive dissonance. It the same rubbish I have been hearing from christians for years and it is a complete and utter fabrication.

 

If god gave a shit he would not let this suffering happen in the first place. Im tired of christian making excuses for a god who either is not there, or if he isnt doesnt give a shit.

 

Your daughter sounds like a decent human being. Get her away from christians before they really fuck her up.

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I'm reminded of a time before I went to Africa when I was working with a woman who was bitter and hurting. I prayed that God would touch her, show her His incredible love for her. I felt Him telling me, “I can't touch her. She won't let me. But she's letting you touch her, so I'll have to touch her through you.” When I saw people bringing suffering on themselves or others, of course God was trying to speak to them. But He doesn't force people to listen to Him, and they often don't of their own choice. But there's a chance they'll listen to people, so God needs people who will let Him speak through them.

Ahhhh. Touching. That stupid African bitch won't listen to some magic man in the sky so she, and all like her, will suffer. Well, hopefully, someone who does have the good sense to listen to the invisible sky man can get through to her.

 

I'm not sure why this strikes me as a bit "insidious." The idea of a "person" trying to gain access to another person (who doesn't want to listen to them) through a trusted third party in the name of "love." And when they just won't "listen" they (in the name of said "love") let them languish in the very pain and suffering that they are so eagerly offering to help with. The "catch" being that you *must* "love" that first "person" before any aid will be given. It's a "strings attached" situation and a creepy one at that. "My friend you've never met and don't know, but you refuse to talk with, told me to tell you this: 'I know you're in the gutter and are really, really hurting. I love you and can help you with that. Look. Here's some money. See? I'm loaded. All you have to do to get it is LOVE ME, more than anyone and anything else, with all your heart and soul forever and ever (and obey all my rules). That's all I'm asking. Is that too much? Or you can just lay there and rot but why punish yourself? Your choice.'"

 

mwc

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I am glad that your daughter seems to be genuinely interested in alleviating suffering in the world, even if she needs a belief in a god to do so.

 

Your daughter has realized half of the truth about God, namely that God is powerless to help others, but people can. She just hasn't taken the final logical step, that the reason God is powerless is because he doesn't exist. Of course people are the ones who help people, because we are the only beings that can. But if she wants to attribute her actions and the actions of others to God because that brings her more comfort, that's fine.

 

Respectfully,

Franciscan Monkey

Thanks for your comment, Franciscan Monkey. I asked my daughter if she would be helping to alleviate suffering if she didn’t believe in God and she said NO - she wouldn’t want to see the suffering. She believes God empowers her to do what she wouldn’t do on her own. If there were no God she believes she would only do what would benefit her.- loving others when there is no chance of personal gain is “unreasonable“ (against reason).

 

I think many people are very comfortable closing their eyes to suffering. So, her belief in God actually takes her to a place of less comfort.

 

Most (Christians, many other religions, atheists, etc.) would probably agree with the “concept” that people should help others (especially those who are hungry, sick, etc.). So … why are people still starving to death? Not tended to when sick? Not properly clothed? Why do so many not do what they all agree should be done?

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Most (Christians, many other religions, atheists, etc.) would probably agree with the “concept” that people should help others (especially those who are hungry, sick, etc.). So … why are people still starving to death? Not tended to when sick? Not properly clothed? Why do so many not do what they all agree should be done?

 

Been watching this topic, and must applaud your daughter for the desire to make the world a better place. The homeless people that I see often seem to have mental illnesses. But in other countries, their governments are the biggest problem. As long as the leaders and the military are taken care of, the people's suffering is the last thing on their mind.

 

 

 

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I asked my daughter if she would be helping to alleviate suffering if she didn’t believe in God and she said NO - she wouldn’t want to see the suffering. She believes God empowers her to do what she wouldn’t do on her own. If there were no God she believes she would only do what would benefit her.- loving others when there is no chance of personal gain is “unreasonable“ (against reason).

 

I think many people are very comfortable closing their eyes to suffering. So, her belief in God actually takes her to a place of less comfort.

 

Most (Christians, many other religions, atheists, etc.) would probably agree with the “concept” that people should help others (especially those who are hungry, sick, etc.). So … why are people still starving to death? Not tended to when sick? Not properly clothed? Why do so many not do what they all agree should be done?

 

With all due respect to your daughter, she cannot know the answer to your question until or unless she renounces her belief in bible god.

 

As for your statement asking why so many people do not do what they all agree should be done, I would turn the question around. With two to three billion christians in the world all claiming to be moved by god to help the poor, why are there still starving people in the world? They, too, do not do what should be done. They use money they gather to build these giant monuments to themselves they call churches, some holding thousands of people in splendor. Sure some, very few, send missionaries, but what are they really doing? Their number one goal is to convert, not to feed. They teach some in Africa to enact laws making homosexual practices subject to imprisonment or even the death penalty. And their religion teaches some to beat, abandon, torture, and kill children because they are supposedly witches. People with this god of love who tells them to feed the poor are hateful, judgmental, and make life for some, like homosexuals and even many women, a living hell. They teach the doctrine of hell which scares children and scars many for life with a fear they cannot control or get over. It teaches that the world is about to end and gloats over those who will be supposedly "left behind" to suffer the torments poured out by this supposedly loving god who is supposedly telling people to feed the poor. Phew on Christianity and its cursed teachings.

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