So I kind of want to abolish the United States Postal Service for reasons mostly selfish. Howie hates their people, and they bring stuff that clutters up my house, which stresses me the eff out, and they bring lots of angst-inducing garbage, including, but not limited to, baby shower invitations, triggery family Christmas cards, and birth announcements… The latest and greatest thing they’ve delivered is a relative of the triggery family Christmas card, but it has distinct differences, so I’ll call it the triggery-family-Christmas-card-listing-of-all-of-the-miracles-and-answered-prayers-that-we-have-received-this-year-proving-that-not-only-does-God-exist-but-also-that-He-loves-us-and-by-way-of-deductive-reasoning-hates-you card.
So yesterday I received one of these cards (from a family member who knows about Matthew), and, in summary, it read, “We had XYZ health struggles this year. The fact that doctors thought X was going to die and he didn’t attests to the power of your prayers. The vast network of believers who offered us up in prayer has resulted in X’s healing. God is in control, and this is always a blessing… Yada, yada, yada.”
And usually upon hearing/receiving sentiments such as this, I have to wonder if it’s a joke. Like it seems like all of this has to be said/done tongue in cheek. Because I simply cannot imagine experiencing what I perceive to be a miracle from God and then so loudly proclaiming such as fact and then sending said proclamation in a Christmas card to people I presumably care about who’ve recently experienced a loss that ranks among the most devastating and just expecting them to be like, “Yay, God!”
Because this isn’t what happens.
What happens is that I read these words to mean, “So many people prayed for us (but they didn’t pray for you). God answered our prayers (but He didn’t answer yours). God loves us (but He hates you). God is in control (so He killed Matthew or, at best, He let him die, as well as let, and continues to let, so many other horrific things happen).” And then I roll my eyes and smirk and say (with all of the sarcasm) something like, “Yeah – God is in control. Always a blessing. Maybe for you. Until it isn’t.” And then I cuss and discuss with Mark all of the fallacies of these proclamations, and then I kind of begin to think the sender has a self-centered world view (probably) and lacks sensitivity (definitely) and is also deficient in critical thinking skills (absolutely).
I am not trying to debate the existence/non-existence of God. I am no theologian. I do not have any answers. And, for the record, no one does.
I’m simply explaining how this shit makes me (and a lot of others, religious or not) feel (SAD AND OFFENDED AND RAGEY).
I totally respect that people have the right to attribute things in their own lives to God/prayer/witchcraft/whatever, but those who care about us, for the love of all things holy, should refrain from mailing us the triggery-family-Christmas-card-listing-of-all-of-the-miracles-and-answered-prayers-that-we-have-received-this-year-proving-that-not-only-does-God-exist-but-also-that-He-loves-us-and-by-way-of-deductive-reasoning-hates-you card unless they want some (well-deserved) shade thrown their direction.
NOTE: I know I need to just let these things go, but it’s my blog, and I can rant if I want to.