« Home | Redirection Resurrection » | Always Winter, Never Christmas » | What Would An Angel Say, The Devil Wants To Know » | Worth Mentioning » | Out of the worst books... » | Shaking it Up » | Baptism by proxy » | Dem Bones » | Just One More Thing to Feel Confused About » | Do you really baptize corpses? » 

Thursday, February 09, 2006 

Tragedy

I've read "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." I keep it on hand in case tragedy strikes too close to home. When I see others coping with tragic circumstances (like Hurricane Katrina victims or my friend whose parents are both undergoing chemotherapy) I'm empathetic and I try to do something (donate, listen). I often wonder, though, how tragedy would affect my faith in God.

I've heard so many times about people who found faith when faced with challenges or tragedy. After I lost my faith in God, I came to find that life was easier for me without religion in my life. I am free of many of the stresses (from striving for the impossibility of perfection to feeling guilty if I had a snack on the wrong Sunday) that detracted from my overall mental and physical health. I didn't stop believing in God so that I could relax, it just worked out that way.

But I wonder and worry that the opposite could be true. Would I, in the face of tragedy, find that I needed faith and try to regain it? Would I be able to cope with losing a loved one or losing physical abilities without faith to keep me afloat?

It's impossible to say. I would like to categorically say "no" because if I thought I could have faith again, then I should be trying to regain it now instead of living my life without it. However, I find that I can't say "no" because I've been proved wrong before. If you would have asked me when I was 20 if I would have ever left the church, I'd have called you "crazy" for asking. But I did.

So, would tragedy propel me back to faith? I don't think so, but I'm pretty sure it's what my mom prays for every single night.

Posted by Kaycee.

"So, would tragedy propel me back to faith? I don't think so, but I'm pretty sure it's what my mom prays for every single night."

Um, I really hope you don't mean that she prays for tragedy in your life, because that would be really twisted.

I find the "atheists in foxholes" cliche unfortunate. The truth is that we are going to do what we are going to do. Only very occasionally do external forces change that and I really wonder how permanent those changes are.

I think that finding faith can also bring personal tragedy. I’m reminded of may people who have had their family disown them as they embrace a new path of faith. I like the idea the in case of a tragedy that I feel I have someone to turn to. I think that that is why when I’m faced with hard times I reaffirm my beliefs, I want to know that I’m not alone.

Tragedy does test ones faith, though...wherever one's faith lies.

When your faith isn't in God...do you find faith in yourself? Or is it just "there?" I'm curious...

My family recently faced tragedy and I want to share an amazing moment of tender mercy from the Lord.

My one month old niece just passed away and the day of the funeral was a wet, windy, rainy day. This kind of weather is not a surprise in Oregon, which is known for its rain. However, this year has been filled with extremely bad weather. The wind was blowing so hard, that the cemetary could not put up tents for the interment service. It was heartbreaking to think of standing out in the rain trying to say good bye to little Jane. She lived only one month on this earth, yet her will, her struggle, and her strength to survive was a powerful example to everyone.

During the funeral service at the church, the Stake President said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to allow a break in the bad weather during the interment. I remember thinking how nice that would be, but inside I was doubting that the Lord would bother with such a thing.

After we arrived at the cemetary, most people gathered outside and huddled under their umbrellas, while waiting for everyone to arrive. Suddenly the wind picked up and several large gusts blew through the cemetary, knocking umbrellas out of our hands, and making people huddle closer together in the freezing rain and wind. "Great", I thought as I frantically clung to my umbrella, "The weather's not getting better, it's getting worse".

Suddenly, the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and the sun shone through the break in the clouds. It was spectacular and breathtaking. I was literally left speechless that the sun was shining on our little cemetary service, while all around us it was still pouring rain.

Because of this beautiful, tender miracle from the Lord, my dear sister was able to linger over her tiny baby's grave. She was able to touch the little pink flowers covering the doll-size casket, and to cry and grieve openly without worrying about the rain and wind destroying the flowers or covering everything with mud. She had a hard time letting go, but knowing that she was leaving her daughter's little body in the sunshine and not the pouring rain, was a tender mercy from the Lord that touched the hearts of everyone present.

Shame on me for doubting. What a priceless, tender mercy from the Lord.

Tragedy dashed my faith. Maybe it’s because I was expecting too much, expecting that since I had faith, heavenly comfort would come in some form, that God would reach out and let me know He was there, supporting me. And when nothing like that happens, however small or simple, what are you supposed to do with your faith then?

Now I approach tragedy with the faith that I can get through it, whether it’s by my own sheer will or with the support of unseen, unfelt heavenly hands. Either way, tragedy can swallow you whole, if you let it, and I think it’s important to at least have faith that you can get to the other side.

Great post. I love understaning your point of view.

John C--Of course my mom doesn't want tragedy to strike me... but she wants something to get me back to church.

JLS--You should be the guest poster this week... Sunday's open...

Kaycee, tragedy brought me into the church, then further tragedy made me re-think my faith. I'm hanging on, but you never know until you really have that Gethsemane what you will do or feel.

I like the atheists in foxholes cliche. I think it's right on. Although I sort of was one for a time.

Tragedy dashed my faith. Maybe it’s because I was expecting too much, expecting that since I had faith, heavenly comfort would come in some form, that God would reach out and let me know He was there, supporting me. And when nothing like that happens, however small or simple, what are you supposed to do with your faith then?

I think, perhaps, you didn't recognize what God was doing, because your expectations blinded you.

Wish you the best in regaining your faith.

Post a Comment

This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

Various Links

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates