Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Sister Is Sick (Can God give us more than we can bear?)

I don't talk about my family a whole lot.  My dad has been the exception as of late because he died and I know he is not going to complain about what I say.  I have not mentioned my sisters much.  I know I am the king of TMI but I have always done my best to respect my sisters privacy.  I respect their privacy for various reasons but mainly because I am afraid of them but that would be the topic for another blog post.

With this post my sisters privacy be damned, well damned a little.  I have two sisters that are both older than I, one that is three years older and one that is six years older.  My sister that is three years older than I is the middle child and in fact has always been the middle child.  She is in the hospital today and has been there since yesterday.

I guess I get a taste of my own medicine, instead of people that love me worrying about me being sick I am worrying about someone I love being sick.  I am not sure if that is irony but I am sure it is close enough for it to be in an Alanis Morrisette song.  There is a great deal of angst when someone you love is sick.  There is a sense of helplessness that is overwhelming and my heart seems to want to sprout wings and flee my chest.

I have been watching Judge Judy which I usually find quite soothing but it does not seem to be able to cut through the angst.  I have been forced to switch to the big guns and to harken back to my teenage angst tools, thrash metal.  I started with Slayer South of Heaven which in my opinion is probably the finest song ever written by anyone anywhere.  From there I went to a some Megadeth Sweating Bullets, not as good as South of Heaven but I do not think any sane person could deny its genius.  I hate to be cliche but then I switched to Cliff Burton era Metallica, of course usually great for angst comforting.

All my attempts to approach Zen have failed and so I start writing this blog and throw on some Mathew Sweet, specifically his Girlfriend album because he kind of lost me after that.  At this point I am several paragraphs in and I have not found even the entrance to the road that leads to Zen and also I have not talked about my sick sister which seems like a little false advertising.


When someone you love is sick and in the hospital most people realize how fragile life is and how we should try and savor every minute.  Well I am sick and I have been sick enough over the last four years that I am aware how fragile life is, so what did I realize?  I realized that because life is fragile there is little one person is able to do to protect another person and in fact we are all helpless and at the mercy of the world and when I say that I realize I am really saying we are all at the mercy of God.

It is not really an epiphany because Mathew Sweet has a song called Divine Intervention on that Girlfriend album and all though its lyrics do not directly relate to the situation with my sister the title  does, I am awaiting Divine Intervention.  People of faith like to say God will never give you more than you can bear and let me tell you something, those people are kind of stupid and have a really superficial understanding of God, the world, and the nature of what it means for something to be good.

In essence those people are full of shit in one way or the other.  They either have had horrible things happen to them and in order to get through each day they lie to themselves and say God would never give them than they can bear or they look at the horrible things happening to someone they love and they tell themselves God would never give a loved one more suffering than they could bear and again that helps them get through each day.

None of that is the truth.  The truth is simple and only requires a leap of faith.  Everything is part of God's plan and God's plan is good.  On its face this seems like an easy thing to accept and live by and in fact the leap of faith is really just a hop from one step to another.  The leap is required when suffering is brought to your door and you must face the suffering close up and know that is good.  Suffering that may be so great that it breaks you or your loved one and that is God's plan.

God's plan may require that we all suffer more than we can bear, God's plan may require us all to break under the burden that is too heavy to be carried.  Breaking way be a good thing but I am having trouble enjoying it today.

In the end I am sure God's plan is beautiful and there is nothing but a greater good that will come from it all.  I think you need to have the perspective of God to see that, up close it looks like suffering, it looks like too much to bear, it looks intentional sometimes, it looks like evil has come to your door.  It is hard to look at things up close from our perspective here as people on earth, sometimes things from this perspective look like shit and that is when I need to remind myself to close my eyes and leap and know that some day I will have enough distance that it wont look like shit anymore and I can see the goodness and beauty that is.