When bad things happen to good people

Chapter 26

Good Monday Morning to this week 25 of 2020

For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. 2 Corinthians 13:9

This weekend I discovered a great book, though it has been out there for quite a while. I really like the way Rabbi Kushner puts difficult theological thoughts in word and application. Here a few highlights …

“There is an old tale about the woman whose only son had died. In her grief, she went to the holy man and said, ‘What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?’ Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her, ‘Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life.’ The woman set off at once in search of that magical mustard seed. She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door and said, ‘I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place? It is very important to me.’ They told her ‘You’ve certainly come to the wrong place,’ and began to describe all the tragic things that had recently befallen them. The woman said to herself, ‘Who is better able to help these poor unfortunate people than I, who have had misfortune of my own?’ She stayed to comfort them, then went on in her search for a home that had never known sorrow. But wherever she turned, hovels and in palaces, she found one tale after another of sadness and misfortune. Ultimately, she became so involved in ministering to other people’s grief that she forgot about her quest for the magical mustard seed, never realizing that it had, in fact, drive the sorrow out of her life.” Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People

God is the light shining in the midst of darkness, not to deny that there is darkness in the world but to reassure us that we do not have to be afraid of the darkness because darkness will always yield to light. As theologian David Griffin puts in, God is all-powerful, His power enables people to deal with events beyond their control and He gives us the strength to do those things because He is with us.”
Harold S. Kushner, Overcoming Life’s Disappointments

People who pray for miracles usually don’t get miracles, any more than children who pray for bicycles or good grades, get them as a result of praying. But people who pray for courage, for strength to bear the unbearable, for the grace to remember what they have left instead of what they have lost, very often find their prayer answered. Harold S. Kushner

I wish you a good week as you wrestle with life’s contradictions and difficulties, yet in all that receiving the strength and grace to bear the unbearable.

Philemon

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