Someone once asked me where my faith that there is god in heaven comes from. Usually I mention it is the times I am far from any man made light and I found myself with a clear night sky illuminated by the magnificent alignment of stars and the visible dense clusters of the Milky Way galaxy. That view, combined with faith - the belief in that which one can’t see gets me through the rough spots with mans behavior on earth.
In the last week, I have had a few people ask, “Where is god when...” with a variety of events involving young our unborn children. One child was born without a connection from the esophagus to the stomach; she just went into surgery a few days ago. Last night I learned a dear friend miscarried. What made it all more surreal was that I was at a Swiss advent holiday party where lots of moms and little ones were all bundled up and walking around.
I sat down in a lawn chair and looked up to see the stars in the sky, yet, there were none. All I saw was dense fog illuminated by the local football teams stadium lights.
“There are many times, I don’t know or understand why certain events happen.” Is an honest answer I gave last night.
As I sat there with a sort of warmed wine drink, my mind flashed back to the various kids put in my life in the past 10 years. The three year old with brain tumors that lived as if a living star on earth that burned so bright. The look on the Childs face that came too late in the journey of malnutrition that had hardened doctors probably asking “why?” this child’s parents had already died and there was no way to save the kids life with the tools available in the middle of the 3rd world. You just try to make the passing journey as comfortable and dignified as possible.
Death is like that. We will all die. While I love technology and what is possible, I have a bunch of friends that desire to live forever with their known earthly bodies. It is called transhumanism. What I see is a world that still will never be fair while we are on earth. Some will have, others will not. It doesn’t need to be this way, but perhaps the human condition is what it is until we break through and evolves past living in fear, or using fear as a tool to control.
As I sat last night, I thought about an image that was a defining moment in perhaps planting the seeds for change inside me. It was the 1994 (I think) photo of the year with Kevin Carter. The image of a small malnourished child crawling to get to a feeding station was the foreground. IN the background, a vulture simply stopped, waiting.
IT wasn’t long after that Kevin Carter committed suicide. There is a rule that I don’t agree with in photojournalism that you don’t change or alter what you are documenting. This rule is why I never was or will be a photojournalist.
The reality is I don’t have answers to most of life’s bigger questions. How did the universe start, what is pure unconditional love, what is it like to be empty of “self” and be “selfless?”
All I have is faith that there is something far bigger and greater that what we can see in our known dimensions and human senses with the grand majesty of the universe.
My dad sent this prayer a few days ago. It is from a priest friend of his. I was taken by how well it was worded and in the way of Christianity, talks about the ideal of what we all try to be, yet, most of us fail miserably each day. We are simply humans.
I guess that is where my transhumanism friends and I will always disagree. They want to live forever here, I think you need to die here and will live forever. It is a question none of us knows the answer to, until we actually physically stop breathing on earth.
So I leave this simple prayer, usually I don’t put things up like this, but the words resonate too much with having to say, “I don’t know” when someone asks a question about “why did this child have to die?”
Have a great day. - i don't know who wrote this amazing prayer posted below.
A PRAYER FOR THE LIVING --- Life.
Break in me whatever needs to be broken.
Fix my hope of ever being fixed.
Use me. Draw every ounce of creativity out of me. Help me live a radically unique life, forever forging a never-before-trodden path in the forest.
Show me how to love more deeply than I ever thought possible.
Whatever I am still turning away from, keep shoving in my face.
Whatever I am still at war with, help me soften towards, relax into, and fully embrace.
Where my heart is still closed, show me a way to open it without violence.
Where I am still holding on, help me let go.
Give me challenges and struggles and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, if that will bring an even deeper humility and trust in the intelligence of life.
Help me laugh at my own seriousness.
Allow me to find the humor in the dark places.
Show me a profound sense of rest in the midst of the storm.
Don't spare me from the truth. Ever.
Let gratitude be my guide.
Let forgiveness be my mantra.
Let this moment be a constant companion.
Let me see your face in every face.
Let me feel your warm presence in my own presence.
Hold me when I stumble.
Breathe me when I cannot breathe.
Let me die living, not live dying.