I rejoiced with you this week, when I read your good news.
I rejoiced with you from the darkness of my bereaved parent existence, knowing that you will never get to know my reality.
I rejoiced for your son and I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing the pain my son endured in the last two weeks of his life and that fact that yours was spared all that, and you the totally heart-wrenching feeling of helplessness of having to watch him die.
But your social media update, which was picked up by so many churches, individuals and even by a local newspaper, made me very sad too.
You see, your update, as hope giving as it is meant to be, (as I do suspect you see it now as your life “testimony” to the Church, a confirmation they so desperately seek of a God who can perform miracles), has totally left out several facts and a huge group of parents and believers who have fought “the good fight”, just like you, but never pulled the winning ticket of healing.
You have forgotten to mention that, as much as you want to attribute your son’s healing “miracle” to God, his healing has a lot (if not all) to do with medical expertise. Your son would have been healed by God IF as soon as he had been diagnosed, you would have taken him home and have the hoard of tens of thousands of faithful Christians pray for him, as they have done and after all that, and WITHOUT any medical intervention, your son would have recovered fully.
But the truth is that, and your public updates are testimony to my statement, there has been a medical team who looked after your child from day one. A wonderful medical team who advised on the best treatment, who did all the risky procedures (many times, at the risk of their own career and hearts!) and who, in the end, managed to perform the medical miracle we had all hoped to hear about. And a medical team, who, disappointingly, receive no praise nor testimony in your latest update…
Your public update this week, has also done a lot of hurting to another group too.
You also forgot to mention, in your rush to proclaim to the world the “miracle”, a whole group of us. You showed a total lack of consideration to us, the bereaved believers and parents who have been on that cancer ward, fought in as hard and as dignified a manner as you have had, but never got their “miracle”.
I can assure you that all the parents who once believed in a simple God of miracles and who lost a child to illness, have been left bruised and terribly hurt by your statement.
And although they are, I am sure, happy for you and your child, as much as I am, they have had, once again, the scabs violently ripped off their emotional wounds and brought back to the same tormenting questions that plague our existences now:
- Why would God choose to heal her child and not mine?
- Did He find me less holy?
- Was my child a second-class Heaven citizen that didn’t deserve a life here, with us?
- Were we punished for some horrible sin we committed in our over-churchy-and-very carefully-edited-in-order-not-to-offend-God-nor-the-Church-lives?
- Did we not pray enough?
- Should we have asked for more prayer from the worldwide church, was our church not holy enough to reach God’s ear and touch His heart?
- Should we have done more than what we did when our son was diagnosed? And what is that thing that we missed that made the lifesaving difference? And why didn’t anyone tell US about it???
But the truth (and this is the truth you are most likely not aware of, as it is never preached in Church these days as it would be detrimental to the numbers and uplifting atmosphere) is different.
The truth is that, scientifically, your son’s cancer was manageable and possibly, curable. Some cancers are, some aren’t.
The big Truth, and I wish this post will reach each and every one of those bereaved parents whose hearts your update crushed this week, is also that God did not choose your son to live and ours to die.
In the last 15 months of agony, endless tormenting and questioning of everything sacred and absolute, I have come to realise that God is much more complex than what we are told in Church. That pushing Him into a miracle-maker box is limiting Him to a man-made image He will never belong into.
I have also come to realise, and written countless times about the subject, that, unfortunately, the Church is, at this moment in time, a circus who worships that man-made god and a place where real life issues like non-healing, chronic pain, death and grief simply do not belong.
This week, your testimony to me, as a bereaved parent, has not been one of healing. Your testimony to me and hundreds of other bereaved believers and parents has been one of exclusion and about a fabricated God who picks and chooses favourites.
Thank God, dear mother whose child has just been given the all clear, that, in my search and painful grief, I have come to know that your god is not the real God, as I have come to know Him…
Footnote: I request you kindly to respect this blog and its author when leaving a comment, especially on posts like the one above. I write my personal posts as a form of therapy(the only one I can afford at the moment, ha!). I do not hold anything against the family mentioned and I truly wish them all the very best in the future. I chose to write this post as a reaction and although I do know that there will be many a folk at the ready, prepared to wack me round the head with their Bible, I would politely request them to refrain from doing so and read this post for what it has been intended. And if you can,possibly learn something from the way they relate to bereaved people.