I think God hates me?

http://risenetworks.org/2013/04/19/lovin 1

Over the years I have been deeply hurt by people of faith and religious institutions’ i.e. churches. I have spent many years of my life researching religion, seeking answers to my questions; to life’s twists and turns.

I believe in God. I believe in life hereafter. I believe that what we are living is hell and that heaven awaits us. I believe we are on earth to learn lessons, perfect our souls. I believe that we will return to earth until we have perfected our souls.

The “mind switch” was Passion of the Christ. I cried for three days. It was the most barbaric thing I had ever seen. I could not and cannot equate that to love. The other “mind switch” was the lovelessness of most “deeply” religious people. So I look at religion and this is the conclusion I have come to…

“Love” is The Big Commandment…. Matthew 22:36-40 NIV Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbour like yourself. All the Law and Prophets hand on these two Commandments@ Love God Thy Father and the second commandment that is equal to it “Love Thy neighbour”…

Love Thy Neighbour is quite a mouthful. Who is my neighbour – the person who lives next door to me in his multi million rand house or his domestic worker living in a room the size of a stamp on his premises? Maybe “my neighbour” could extend to the socio economic group that I equate to in my suburb or city? Hells bells, if I am generous the rich in my country may qualify…. But the people with different pigmentation and less money? No, no no!

Now let me spell it out. The way I see it

If God is a God of Love would He truly condemn people to eternal hell for not believing a particular version of religion? I know so many wonderful Muslim people who have “white souls”, who are kind, compassionate and generous. They would never deliberately harm a fellow human being. I know many beautiful Christians who are kind and compassionate and generous. I know that in a country like Saudi no money will exchange hands whilst it is Salah (prayer time). Restaurants and shops CLOSE for prayer 5 times a day and if you are not praying you will stand around in the passages of the shopping centre. You will not even be allowed to remain in the restaurant.

In my country and everywhere else in the world people of other religious groups will drink too much and talk about Muslims in a derogatory manner. They will call them heathens… They will lie and steal but take the religious high ground because they are “Christian”. And by the way, please do not inconvenience them and their social life by getting ill….If you are so inconsiderate – please die quickly so their lives can move along at it’s comfortable, fun filled pace.

Worldwide racism is alive and well. Where there is no racism it is tribalism, elitism that keeps hate flowing through the world.

For many years I did so-called “charity” and evangelism work in the poor rural areas in South Africa. Today I admit I am ashamed that I was so sanctimonious to think that I was needed to evangelize the poor. What do you say to a child who is freezing and hungry when they accept the Lord? “God is going to make your life better!”…That would imply that all of a sudden that child would have at least 3 meals a day, a bed and blanket, medical care and a good education…

Let me tell you, so-called evangelists hit and run. They convert and leave. There is no sustainability in what they offer. Most of their efforts are self-serving. Tomorrow that child is going to be cold and hungry and think “that woman of God said God would bless me…Why has He not done so? He must hate me…”

So, I ask the question…who is the “woman of God”? The self-appointed evangelist or the impoverished next door neighbour who shares her last crust of bread with the hungry child?

I don’t believe that there is a single religion that is “right.” There is good and bad in all religions. There is good and bad in every person!

The Catholic’s decided which books were to be in the Bible. The Qur’an is a modified version of the Old Testament. The Torah is another modified version of the Old Testament.

I know there will be a reaction to this post. I know many people will “unfollow” me after this post. That is fine. It is your right to decide what to read. It is my right to write what I believe and have experienced.

Vic often asked me “Mommy, why do you think God hates me?”

The Church deserted Vic. Christians deserted Vic. Family deserted Vic. Friends deserted Vic. Even the most religious of religious did not have enough compassion for my child to lift a phone and ask “How is your child doing?” or “I am sorry to hear about her passing”. Family, yes you read correctly, did not even sympathise. What a cold God they must serve? Yet these righteous self-serving stone-Christians point fingers at others for not being “obedient” to God’s Word. Surely not the Word that says “Love thy neighbour”………

Valley of Death

January 2013.  Today was a special day.

Boys lying with Vic before Chris' arrival
Boys lying with Vic before Chris’ arrival

Yesterday Vic asked me to contact her minister.  Chris arrived at our home at 9.30am.  We all sat in Vic’s room whilst Chris read Psalm 23 and prayed for Vic who was walking through the “valley of death.” She prayed for Vic to find peace and acceptance of her situation.

Chris then served Holy Communion.  Vic, at first, did not want Jon-Daniel to partake in the Communion.  Chris explained that a child having to be confirmed before they are allowed to partake in Communion is a man-made rule.  I pointed out to Vic that it would be very special if Jon-Daniel could have his first Communion with her… Vic agreed.

Chris ministering to Vic
Chris ministering to Vic

It was so special.

I was filled with deep gratitude that we as a family have the opportunity of making memories every day. Today I am particularly grateful that Jon-Daniel will always carry the memory of his first Holy Communion with him.  Even if his mom does not attend his confirmation he will remember that he took his first Holy Communion with her.

Vic and Jon-Daniel after taking Communion
Vic and Jon-Daniel after taking Communion

For the first time in a long time I was grateful for Vic lingering death.  I am grateful that Jared had the opportunity to tell her that she is a legend and that she will always live on in so many people’s minds and hearts.  That Stepping Stone Hospice is her legacy….


Jared and his Mom
Jared and his Mom

Dying isn’t a science. There is no methodical process of coming to terms with death.  The reality of what is busy happening to Vic is frightening and overwhelming.  Earlier this week, when I gave one of the boys permission to go out, Vic said “See Mommy, this is why I cannot die.  I don’t know if you will be strict enough with the boys…”

Vic is desperately clinging to life.  Vic is afraid of losing control of her bodily functions and becoming a burden to us.  Vic is afraid of the act of dying.

The rest of us are scared because we want her suffering to end.  We know we will experience terrible guilt afterwards… Even as I am typing I KNOW I will second guess everything I did for Vic and every decision I ever made regarding her medical care.  This is just the way it is…

Angela and Tracey visited today.  The visits are so exhausting for Vic and yet she did not want them  to leave.  Every time they say “I must go…” Vic will pout and say “just stay a little longer…”

Vic, Tracey and Angela sharing a laugh
Vic, Tracey and Angela sharing a laugh

The weight is just falling off Vic.  She managed to keep in a mug of diet “Cup of Soup”.  Small mercies!

Lelani picked up the new morphine script from Dr Sue.  She made imprints of the boys’ hands for Vic… She massaged Vic’s little feet.  Jon-Daniel and I swam and Jared went with his girlfriend and her parents to a day resort.  Danie picked up the script from the pharmacy and washed his own motorbike.  (First time in 15 years….he always has it done!)

Vic being pampered by her sister Lani
Vic being pampered by her sister Lani

A normal day in the life of a family walking through the valley of death…I don’t want to forget any part of it.