Letter To God
God, where are You these days? The world is in turmoil. From Afghanistan to Iraq, from Syria to Nigeria, from Somalia to Yemen, people, young and old alike, are dying because of the atrocities brought about by war. In my own backyard, from Luzon to Mindanao, people are still suffering from natural calamities caused by earthquakes and typhoons.
I know of a 50-year-old man who, all of a sudden, died from a massive heart attack this week, just fifteen days before Christmas. I am sure his family is emotionally and mentally devastated. The daughter of a family I know is suffering from stage 4 cancer and has two young kids who will probably never understand why their mom is sick. A relative has just undergone a successful surgery, but unsure of what future prognosis will be like.
People have asked, where is God? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do the good and the innocent die young? Of course, people like me look up to You for answers. Yet You appear to be so far away. You appear to be so detached from human events that affect so many of us. Is it because You are testing us?
But why test us, when You know that we are incapable of understanding Your ways? I cannot forever live caught in life’s contradictions.
As I write this letter, there’s always the possibility of war between the United States and Iran. If it happens, because of the American strong firepower, many Iranian soldiers and civilians will die for sure. A sprinkle of young Americans who probably are in the military for economic reason will also die. These people don’t deserve to die. But, they will. Can You really look at the child of a dead American or an Iranian soldier and tell him or her that You are the answer to their miseries? You will not probably make sense to them.
Should I blame President Donald Trump or the Iranian leadership for their lack of moral purpose? Or should I blame You for not giving our world leaders a clear moral conscience? Please help me understand.
How then should I relate to You? I can readily accept being unappreciated, and even humiliated. But I cannot understand, much more accept the notion that people are suffering.
The problem of suffering has been the favorite topic of conversation among philosophers, theologians, and atheists throughout the ages. But no answer has been conclusively given by these wise men and women that’s acceptable to everyone.
My faith tells me that You can do anything to alleviate people’s sufferings. If You can make the blind see, the lame walk, and the dead Lazarus live, You can do something to influence human events. I don’t know how You will do it, but You can do it. I would rather turn to You for answers than to Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who was once investigated by the FBI for human trafficking in Hawaii.
As a Christian, I was taught that suffering binds me into the process of salvation. As Blaise Pascal once said, “Suffering is the natural state for a Christian.” But, come on, please do it in a way that is bearable.
I’m not playing games with You. This is how I express my faith when lives are at stake. Biblically, I know that Your ways are not my ways. A woman has cancer, she prays, and she dies. A person is falsely accused, ends in prison, and You don’t release him or her. I know that the Bible is replete with examples of how You make bad events happen to serve a divine purpose. Your strange ways have kept me on my toes for so many years now.
I might sound arrogant and crazy, but Your odd ways of dealing with us humans will not prevent me from challenging You to be more active in putting things in order. How about thinking and acting like a human being, like a mother or a father or a brother or a sister? If You can prevent a mother from shedding a tear or a child from missing his father, You would make a lot of people happy. I dare You to tell me that I’m wrong. But, aha, You’re supposed to write in crooked lines, making it difficult for us to understand Your ways. I have a solution: write in straight lines once in a while.
Can I count on You?