Tag Archives: faith

I Hope He’s Listening

I don’t pray.  I used to but that was a long time ago and was typically for selfish reasons. Passing a test, not letting my Mom find out I did something wrong.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I sat on the edge of my bed with my hands folded in prayer. I find it to be a useless endeavor.  As this world so horribly points out, death, disease, despair, corruption, famine, suffering, and the Kardashians are still with us despite how much any of us pray.

Instead, I let events and situations fall where they may.  I put my faith not in to an invisible omnipotent deity rather I put it in to science, facts, proof, and that we will eventually figure out we don’t care about celebrity reality shows.

The tragedy unfolded in Newtown, CT today only seems to strengthen my resolve that God either doesn’t listen or he doesn’t care (I use ‘he’ because I don’t believe a ‘she’ would allow this to happen).  How could an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving god allow our children to be massacred?  Wasn’t he watching?  Didn’t he know this was going to happen?

These questions just add on to all the others I have had about this day.  Why did it happen?  How did it happen?  How could we stop it or prevent it from happening again?  Do we get rid of guns?  Do we make stiffer gun laws?  How do we help those who lost so much today?  How do I get rid of this sickening feeling I have?  What if this would have happened at my kids’ schools?  How do I keep them safe?

I want to do something but I know I can’t ease the pain for the families and friends of the victims at Sandy Hook.  I can’t change what happened, explain it, try to come up with a reasonable solution to it, or begin to comprehend what anyone involved is going through.  In fact I don’t believe there are any words I could offer at this moment that would be reassuring to the parents and families who will have to go home tonight without their loved ones.  So tonight, I will offer words to someone else.

I have placed my beliefs outside the walls of religion for a long time. So long ago that the last time I really prayed, I couldn’t say ‘…if I die before I wake’ because it scared me.  But after what I saw today in Newtown, CT, I’m going to offer my words to God.  I’m going to say a prayer for the victims.  For their families.  For all of those affected by what happened today at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I’m going to pray that somehow they can find peace and strength through this tragedy.  I’m going to pray tonight for him to help us find a way to make sense of all of this and to prevent something like this from happening again.  I’m going to pray that there is a Hell and the person responsible for this finds his way there. And while I’m at, I’m going to pray he helps to keep my kids safe.

Because right now, with so many questions left unanswered, with so much pain, and so much loss of innocent life, maybe for this one night, resurrecting my faith will be all that I can do?

I just hope tonight, he’s listening.

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Jesus Saves

The window of faith, bestowed on to parents by their children, regarding our omniscience, closes quickly.  One minute they believe you when you tell them the dog went to a “farm” to live (which works unless they want to visit said “farm” to see the dog) and the next they don’t believe you when you tell them you’re their father. 

Right now, I still retain only a portion of my omniscience with my 8 year old (Emma, my 5 year old, on the other hand I could tell I have gills and can breathe like a fish and she would most likely buy in to it).  I’ve begun to get looks from Hannah I didn’t think I’d be seeing for another 4 or 5 years with every answer I fumble through. If I’m not careful, I’m never going to be able to convince her before she hits adolescence, kissing boys makes you go blind, you’ll spend 5-10 in jail for smoking, and only criminals and Miley Cyrus drink alcohol. 

But I have found a way to maintain my standing.  Jesus.  Yes, the son of God, savior to millions, face of burnt pieces of toast, the explanation for the unexplainable.  So let me explain.

Hannah goes to Prep, nee CCD.  For non-Catholics, Prep is school for the kids whose parents refuse to incur the cost of Catholic school tuition while they are paying for a perfectly adequate public school education in their taxes.  Since 1st grade, Hannah has been attending Prep.  Now in 3rd grade, she only has about 7 years left of Prep (pretty sure it took less time to write the Bible than it does to study it).  Upon completing Prep Hannah should be qualified to be a Catholic. But I digress. 

Learning about Jesus, though chock full of merit, has begun to bring up a whole slew of questions Hannah needs answers for.  Questions some have used to write book disproving Mr. Christ while others have used to spread his grace (and some have used to justify lunacy).  Questions I don’t always have answers to nor would a 400 level Philosophy course give me either.

Some of her questions:

“Daddy, how could Mary and God have Jesus if Mary was married to Joseph?”
“Daddy, will Penny (our dog) go to heaven when she dies?”
“Daddy, if we’re all God’s children, does that mean we are brother and sister?”
“Daddy, where did God come from?”
“Daddy, does God have a mom and dad?”
“Daddy, if I don’t go to confession, will I go to H.E.L.L. (she won’t say ‘Hell’ because it’s a curse word)?”
“Daddy, how did Jesus move the rock in front of his cave?”

Given enough time on the Internet, I could find reasonable answers to some of the questions (that don’t have me trying to quote texts, explain Francis Assisi, metaphysical transformations, and Paul’s infatuation with the Corinthians off the top of my head).  Trying to come up with answers while an 8 year old is peppering you with questions that would give the Pope pause isn’t so easy.  So I resort to the stock religious answer, “Sometimes you just have to have faith.”  An answer Hannah feels satisfied with.

And that is how Jesus is going to save me (it was the resurrection for you wasn’t it?).  Because I know (as Hannah will eventually find out) I won’t have all the answers and neither does the Bible.  Last time I checked, there is nothing in the Gospels about boy crushes, breakups, sexting, the dangers of drugs, or online predators. There is no guide to female hormones in Revelation (trust me I’ve already looked…twice). But Jesus tells his flock all questions can be answered with faith.  How else is someone to believe in walking across water to get to Bethsaida? Or in healing lepers? Or having a buffet for 5000 people with 7 loaves of bread and some fish? Or rising from the dead? Or believing your father has all the answers?