I want you all to know that I read each comment. Some took me a long time to read, so I can tell that you all put alot of thought and effort into your words. Hopefully, my words will show just as much effort and thought.. and where I am at after this religion sidetrack….
At first, I was going to respond to each comment individually, but I got stuck and realized it would take me weeks to respond in detail to these well-thought out answers and I didn’t think it would be as valuable as this. (Recall I have that weird reading thing that makes reading difficult, even my stuff…. but writing is not affected). I also want you to know that I spent a whole session talking to Dr. Val about this particular blog and the comments. I will probably spend my next session talking about these things as well.. Dr. Val, I believe, is both a religious person and a spiritual person, not that she has told me so, but by her responses to me and to the comments I shared with her.
And while this might seem to deviate from a foster care blog, the reality is that I struggle with the questions because of my life… and some of your foster children/adoptive children might have the same questions at any age. As one of my readers said ” I once had a foster daughter ask me- if God loves me why didn’t he just make X stop drinking instead of letting me get put in care?”… so these are issues that are relevant to the children you care for.
The easy one to deal with is animals. It seems most people think animals are in heaven, irregardless of what religion says. That’s a good thing because it would be awfully sad in heaven without the pets that show us such unconditional acceptance and love. Some people mentioned the “Rainbow Bridge” which is a poem to relieve the sadness of pets that have passed. It really is a beautiful belief and brings comfort to those wondering if their pets would be waiting for them when they die. I also can’t imagine that a higher being who created the animals would leave them behind. That concept makes no sense to me. Click here for the link to the poem.
Suffering is the hard one…. and the comments ranged from the idea of free will to the idea that God/Jesus does not give you more than you can handle, to the concept of evil in the world. From my perspective, none of the answers satisfed what I was looking for. Not that it was expected, but there just doesn’t seem to be an answer that makes sense to me about suffering and why some suffer and others suffer less. Why is there so much suffering in the world, especially among vulnerable populations like children…
Some folks suggested I go and talk to a minister or pastor, but I can’t walk into a church without crying my eyes out. The poor minister would probably want to just get rid of my crying self….throw me out the church door. Although Dr. Val says, most ministers would talk to me and ask me what I need.
What I need is an answer that satisfies the pain I feel inside me, an answer that explains why things happen and why me? I don’t think a religious leader would give me any better answers than the blog crew did…
As for the questions about heaven, there was mixed responses. Many people believed in heaven, but kind of created their own version, so that good people irregardless of their faith still got a shot at going up… instead of down. For other’s, it’s like there is a gatekeeper who permits people to enter, but you have to know the secret password to get in… that secret password would be Jesus, according to most of the blog crew.
There were several book suggestions including “Conversations with God” which I actually have and the study guide that goes with it. Got it at a used book store for 25 cents! Other books seemed a little hard for me at this time, but maybe in the future – but for my blog crew, the suggestions were He Leadth Me, When God Weeps, Too Small to Ignore, Blue Like Jass, and of course the Bible. Many links were given and a movie called “All Dogs Go To Heaven” was mentioned.
It seems that many people have their own view about what heaven is going to be, shaped by some religion teaching, but not one was 100% similar. Even among people of the same religion, views on heaven were different. Among the views, was an almost consistent belief that one needed a relationship with Jesus to get there. Although some commenters did disagree with that and talked about being good and kind and caring.
The other thing that stood out to me was that several people considered themselves people of faith, but did not follow a religion. I guess that is where the difference between being religious and being spiritual comes into play.
If you have the time to read through all the comments, I highly suggest you do. It is an interesting cross-section of people who feel passionate about a topic, but yet, many people differ.
For those of you that got upset that your comment did not post right away, I have no idea why. I did not change anything, but wordpress kept stopping the comments. Hm.. maybe in some cases it was a divine intervention…I should have looked for a pattern…
Peace you all….