Sunday, May 28, 2023

Remembrance: Questions on Faith VS. Randomness

So I woke this morning, missing Marian again all of the sudden - maybe because it's Memorial Day Weekend?

Or maybe it's because I'm not done grieving and it's unrealistic to just think I can just move on and welcome in new life and joy without still sometimes feeling a moment of sad remembrance

I think especially because there's still no obituary or memorial yet and no word on it??  My mom is wondering too.

I'm sure there's some reason for the delay, it's just I know from other cremations, the "we'll have a memorial later" doesn't work out very well, these days.  It's like by the time they have one, if they ever do, people don't want to revisit it or something?  Okay, I get that - and yet she deserves better than that.  

But then again, I don't know what's going on with the family, this was an even bigger shock to them than me, so no judgment.  It just sucks all the way around.

Anyway, trying to talk to my mom about this doesn't work out very well.  She just isn't in the same place as me with grief and we've only recently reconnected.  She just puts everything is God's hands without question, when I'm left with so many.  

Mark has been great, but he's just as stumped as me on this one.  My little sister was sad about Marian, too, but not as close as my mom and I were to her, and we also just recently reconnected, too, plus her new beau came into Atlanta for the weekend, which makes me super happy for her and I don't want to dump on her.

Grief and faith aren't something you just dump on people, especially friends rather than family, they have their own stuff going on.  

And God knows, it's harder than ever these days to find intelligent people who leave room for faith, who are also still sane lol. So Mark suggested one of my brother-in-laws, but more on him in a moment.

I think humans in general have a hard time just accepting randomness, and especially me, being overly analytical.  I like things to make sense and it really bothers me when they don't, probably more than most people. 

(This also explains why absurdity is my favorite form of humor, and why sometimes I just say nonsensical things to make others laugh - because I spend so much of the rest of my time trying to make things make more sense lol.)

But I think humans in general like to find meaning in our world rather than just accepting randomness, and I don't think it's just because randomness feels out of our control, though that is much of it.

Because if you think about it, much like the innate human need to create, the need to find meaning and order out of chaos may actually be evidence of a God as a conscious energy   - because where did both of these innate human needs come from? 

Because we don't actually need to create to survive, nor do we even need order and meaning - plenty of people working in non-creative fields just to get a paycheck are proof of that - so where did this innate need to find meaning and order come from?

Not to mention, there's not only a certain amount of natural order to the earth, but to the universe - though both may have been created via chaos, they're NOT chaotic now, or at least the earth and the universe eventually find order and balance

Heck, even the human body, though it can experience chaos, eventually finds, or tries to find, a homeostasis.

Regardless, point being, we're not very good with chaos and random - and that is because most things aren't random and chaotic -  at least not for too long.

I dunno, I guess the world just feels quieter, smaller, without Marian in it.  I'm trying to welcome in new life with a new puppy coming this week and a friend with a new baby, but that feeling that a part of my own life is missing is still there. 

And worse - and I know this sounds weird - but it felt like hope - and God himself - left with Marian.  I know that's ridiculous and I didn't realize I felt that way until today, isn't that ridiculous? Well, some might say belief in God anyway is ridiculous, so never mind lol. 

I had already realized that virtually everything I had been taught from the evangelical church I grew up in wasn't true, at least not the way they taught it.  

So what IS true?

Christians still die in horrible ways, despite what prayers or incantations or talismans they use, just like everybody else, sometimes.  

A tornado, with no will of its own, hits randomly and can leave every house in the neighborhood flatted, but one house unscathed.  The people in the unscathed house credit God - and the others, also devout Christian, are left going "Yeah, what did we do wrong?"

The answer is likely - nothing.

Because we Christians don't have any more protection than anyone else, at least against the free will of other human beings, that is.  

The bible says the rain falls on both the just and the unjust.

Try telling that to my mom, though - who believes if you say just this certain prayer, a certain way, in the name of Jesus, you're protected.

And when she says stuff like this, I let her, because she has that right.

But I'm thinking to myself, when she's saying stuff like this "Oh yeah? If that actually worked, then explain what happened to Marian?"

But I never do actually say that, I just think it and roll my eyes on the phone where she can't see me do it, right now lol.

Because although Marian had more patience, compassion, and intelligence than most in that type of belief, she was still the sort of Christian that prayed prayers of protection before she drove, in the name of Jesus, etc. - and it didn't protect her.  HE didn't protect her. 

And don't tell me it's because she forgot that one day - if his grace is sufficient, then it's sufficient - period. 

And for Mark, it's not only Marian, but his Army Ranger buddy, Rodrigo.  Rodrigo wore a crucifix, prayed the rosary every day, wore it around his wrist, led prayer before and during every mission, had tattoos of bible versus and crosses, was a committed family man - and everyone thought these things protected him on missions, despite being stabbed, shot, you name it - until one day, they didn't anymore :(

Now, in his case, that was his job - and how many battles can you run into before your luck runs out?  But then my husband's "luck" never ran out - so why Rodrigo instead of him, he sometimes asks God?


I mean, I already knew this stuff doesn't really protect us, at least from other people's free will choices or our own (versus true negative spiritual energy), it just gives us the illusion of control -  and yet for some reason, I still thought God would for somebody like Marian anyway. 

So as mentioned, Mark suggested I talk to my one of my brothers-in-law, who has converted from Catholicism to Evangelicalism in recent years. 

We don't agree on everything, but what we did agree on was that I needed to adjust my expectations of who God is and what he does versus what we expect him to do.

And also during the conversation, he said something like "taking (personal) offense (to what God does or doesn't do)." 

Light bulb on. 

And I also realized that what I had done was take the phrase "see God in the faces of the people we love" way too seriously - Marian was NOT God, not the only blessing in my life, and she was not my only connection to God - and God is not only found in human faces and voices.

And more importantly, this didn't happen because of anything Marian did or didn't do; enough faith or not, Godly enough or not Godly enough, prayed enough or too much or the right prayers, etc.  - his grace is sufficient - period. 

Nobody was more devoted and devout and selfless trying to reflect the life of Christ than Marian.

We're not powerful enough to control anything with prayers or talisman or incantations (and in fact, I don't see much difference between them) - so how arrogant to assume if we say just the right prayer, carry the right talisman, we can control everything that happens to us in this world.

This happened because it was just her time - and not to be taken as a personal offense to either Marian OR the people that loved her.

The only comfort and sense I can make of it at present is that I know after her husband left, she really struggled financially and had zero retirement at 71 years old.  How much longer would she have to work and struggle as she aged?

At least this way, she wouldn't have to - because she was in a coma since the moment it happened, with no brain activity at all, just her body alive until disconnected from life support - and then was peacefully sung to sleep by her family.

I guess I can almost see God in that final moment - and yet it's not enough.

I still really wish I could see or feel God again, but I still can't.

But at least today, after talking with B - I did realize how much I had confused the human Marian with the presence of God- and that no, God did not actually die along with Marian (as ridiculous as that sounds anyway). 

 I'm just not exactly sure where he is still.  I hope I see/feel him again soon. 

Like I said last post, it's a process.  That doesn't mean I'm not excited about the new puppy, the new baby, etc. - it means some days, I still miss Marian - period.  Guess I will for a while.  

It only takes faith the size of a grain of a mustard seed, right?

Okay, because that's about all I've got, right now.  Hoping his grace truly is sufficient :/


PS - Special thanks to Mark's brother, B, for talking with me about this today, especially it being a holiday weekend.  Love you, Brother :)

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