Trail Blazer Ministries
Base Camp for Life: A Spiritual Journey...

An atheist perspective of grieving

9:46 AM
My sister Christina has brain cancer, recently she had a major seizure and was promptly rushed to the hospital.  The doctors diagnosed cancer cells went to all areas of her brain.  Now we all must except the reality of her death sooner than we'd like.

Christina is surrounded by many friends and family, the community during these final days is breathtaking.  She is loved and will be missed greatly.  Her smile lights up the room, her quirky sense of humor hasn't changed and she seems more peaceful than everyone else.

A struggle she is going through beyond her cancer is..."How can I share my heart and Jesus with my unbelieving family and friends."  This is an incredible burden, many prayers are directed toward the salvation of the unbelieving friends and family.  Another struggle is the question whether God will heal her.  My sister doesn't expect healing but others feel God will or can heal her.

One evening was particularly uncomfortable.  Many among the community have fundamental/charismatic view in which they filter cancer and suffering.  During a "healing prayer service" held at my sister's house, I heard pleas to God for healing.  Phrases thrown out were,

"It's selfish of me to ask, but Lord in your goodness; would you please heal Christina."
"Lord, we don't know your sovereign will; but are desire is for NEW LIFE!  You are the God of life!  We have the same resurrection spirit!  So raise up in Christina a new life a healing..." 

A 95 year-old man anointed her with oil and also asked for her healing.   His seemingly wise words of comfort and her eventual healing gave many comfort and others a sense of discomfort.  I say discomfort in the fact some other Christians have a more realistic view of what is happening.   They just seek comfort that God has some grand plan in all of this.  However I look at it, one thing I cannot reconcile the omnipotent and omnibenevolent nature that Christians claim of God.   If anyone can point me to a study showing God shows favor and healing, I'd love to see it.

God filter.  Every single thing, whether a small happen-chance, tragedy, opportunity...whatever it is; it's first put through the filter of "God is sovereign, and his plan is good."  I find peace knowing that shit happens.  It sucks, the universe doesn't take sides; horrible corrupt people can live a very long time, while super-sweet new mothers like my sister will be taken away.  If I believed in God, I'd be forced to believe His will is true and good and I'd be wrestling with that the rest of my life.  Since my deconversion, personal peace comes easier, I don't have to process God's will.  I accept them for what they are.

Personally, during this time my emotions are stable.  I am going to miss Christina dearly.  I am so fortunate to have so many wonderful memories of my sister, our growing up years, the inside joke and our own "brother and sister language."
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