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When bad things happen to good people

>> Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The last few weeks were the most testing in my life.My daughter n law was diagnosed to have an ovarian tumor, my wife had a coronary event,and then travel up and down, hospitals and corridors and endless waiting outside the ICU and the operating rooms.....

There was enough and more time to think.

In the busy schedules of work, one hardly gets time to sit back and think on ones own life.One thought leads to another.One question leads to another..all unanswered.

Why such things happen to us? Have we done done something to account for? What has an innocent girl done to be punished for?Who does all these? How does all these things happen?Who is responsible? Is it God? But He is supposed to heal us..not give us sicknesses..He carried all our inequities to the cross.....everything has been accounted for..Then what?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

This is a question which many people ask themselves.Today I ask the question.Tomorrow many of you will find yourself in similiar circumstances.

Harold Kushner wrote a book with this title.

Kushner addressed one of the principal problems of theodicy,the conundrum of why,if the universe was created and governed by a God who is of a good and loving nature,there is so much of pain and suffering? The book is dedicated to the memory of his young son,Aaron,who died at the age of 14 in 1977 of the incurable disease called Progeria.Kushner was a conservaative Rabbi.And the book was a best seller.

The summary probably is this.

Laws of nature do not make exceptions for nice people.A bullet has no conscience,neithor does a cancerous tumor,or an automobile gone out of control.That is why good people get sick and get hurt as much as anyone.No matter what stories were taught about Jonah or Daniel in the Sunday school,God doesnot reach down to interrupt the works of the laws of nature to protect the righteous from harm.The world has so become,so that bad things happen to good people,and God doesnot cause it and cant stop it.

"Nature is morally blind,without values.It churns along,following its own rules,not caring who gets on its way.But God is not morally blind.The earth quake is not an act of God.The act of God is to give them courage to survive and rebuild.

Pain is the price we pay for being alive.What we have to learn is how can we convert all our pains to birth pangs or growing pains.We may not ever understand why we suffer,or be able to control the forces that cause the suffering,but we have a lot to say about what the suffring does to us,and how it has changed our lives.

So,finally do we have an answer to the question still?The best response would be Job's response in Mac Leish's version of the Biblical story....to forgive the world for not being perfect,to fogive God for not making a better world, to reach out to the people around us,and to go on living despite it all.

I believe now that sometimes things happen for a reason.Other times,they just dont make any sense to me.I dont know if God is trying to teach as humility,or how to come together in times of tragedy,how to be good to people around you or what.This past few months were specially trying on me.All the people I saw suffering were good natured and nice.This is one of life's hardest lessons to learn and teach. If I have learned anythign out of it.. is to pull oneself together in times of need, and be good to others. What you give away,will come back to you in three folds.

6 comments:

kochuthresiamma p .j November 10, 2009 at 6:56 PM  

a very touching and thought provoking post.

I'd say that bad things happen mostly to good people. there are enough evidences in life and the scriptures. you mentioned Job.

your questions you have answered. so it's ok.

best is tnot to ask questions but develop a thy will be done attitude. it helps. it really does.

all the best, doctor.

perhaps it is thru pain that God reaches out to us-and make us think of existential questions.

Bindhu Unny November 16, 2009 at 10:56 PM  

While reading this post, I remembered a quote from Orhan Pamuk's Snow - 'If God does not exist, then how do you explain all the suffering of the poor?'

Nice post. :)

Dr.Antony November 28, 2009 at 11:39 AM  

@Bindu,
Thanks for response. I started writing to vent out..it helped. I was reading My name is Red by Orhan Pamuk..half way through.
Come back and see.Thanks

pinky1234 December 1, 2009 at 12:30 AM  

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

pinky1234 December 1, 2009 at 2:17 AM  

I hope ive answered ur question. All i have to say is that we believe in God and keep wishing that a day of salvation will come. A day will come when people realise annd question ones own existance. Do i have the right to all this ...when someone u know and love soo much is suffering at the other end! thats when u really question urself and think y is god really giving all this to me and taking away things from poor goodhearted people! there is no answr to that ! im just talking from my experiences in life!
I have taken refuge in the lord and im waiting for salvation!

Dr.Antony December 2, 2009 at 9:13 AM  

@pinky
Salvation comes in a life to come.
What about the present and your problems?

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