Wednesday, May 20, 2009

He didn't think it was funny

Chest pains are back. God is good. God is great. God is not amused.


  1. "Innocent people do suffer misfortunes in this life. Things happen to them far worse than they deserve. But when it happens, it does not represent God punishing them for something they did wrong. The misfortunes do not come from God at all.
    There may be a sense of loss at coming to this conclusion. In a way, it was comforting to believe in an all-wise, all-powerful God who guaranteed fair treatment and happy endings, who reassured us that everything happened for a reason, even as life was easier or us when we could believe that our parents were wise enough to know what to do and strong enough to make everything turn out right. But it was comforting the way the religion of Job's friends was comforting: it worked only as long as we did not take the problem of innocent victims seriously. When we have met Job, when we have been Job, we cannot believe in that sort of God any longer without giving up our own right to feel angry, to feel that we have been treated badly by life.
    From that perspective, there ought to be a sense of relief in coming to the conclusion that God is not doing this to us. If God is a God of justice and not of power, then He can still be on our side when bad things happen to us. He can know that we are good and honest people who deserve better. Our misfortunes are none of His doing, and so we can turn to Him for help. Our question will not be Job's question 'God, why are Your doing this to me?' but rather 'God, see what is happening to me. Can You help me?' We will turn to God, not to be judged or forgiven, not to be rewarded or punished, but to be strengthened and comforted.
    If we have grown up, as Job and his friends did, believing in an all-wise, all-powerful, all-knowing God, it will be hard for us, as it was hard for them, to change our way of thinking about Him (as it was hard for us, when we were children, to realize that our parents were not all-powerful, that a broken toy had to be thrown out because they could not fix it, not becuase they did not want to). But if we can bring ourselves to acknowledge there are some things God oes not control, many good things become possible...
    We can be angry at God. More than that, we can recognize our anger at life's unfairness, our instinctive compassion at seeing people suffer, as coming from God who teaches us to be angry at injustice and to feel compassion for the afflicted. Instead of feeling that we are opposed to God we can feel that our indignation is God's anger at unfairness working through us, that when we cry out, we are still on God's sie, and He is still on ours."
    --from "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" by Harold Kushner

  2. just to add, I meant that to comfort, not to preach...I've found that the world is random and completely unfair (also full of love and extraordinary beauty) and there is no reason that any of this happened to you.

  3. I'll get ahold of Satan and ask what his problem is. In the meantime, be glad the pain is not in the groin area.

  4. Hey Mike,
    I've thought about you daily since I heard you were sick. I hope you're able to find the positive in this mess, to keep your spirits and strength up. From your blog I see that humor is a big part of that for you...that hasn't changed since Madison. I felt the need to post, not only to say "hi" (because I also sent you an email to do that), but also because if I post a comment to this entry, it would be like a Towers reunion, right here on your blog. Me, Sara,and Todd... :-)
    Stay strong!
    Sue Naiditch Mirman

  5. So it's Saturday morning, a little after 6:00. As is usually the case, I am awake because I don't sleep much. I am lucky because I don't have pain in my chest and because my family is sleeping upstairs a short distance from where I sit. My day consists of coaching my son's baseball team in game two of a Memorial Weekend tournament and then watching him play soccer in a Memorial Weekend tournament later this evening. My biggest concern is putting a line up together for the 9:00am baseball game and that there will be no beer consumption before 8:30 tonight. Needless to say, I am certain you will have a bit more on your mind today. That being the case, I thought I'd pop on here and let you know, that I, like everyone else who posts on this site, wake with thoughts of you and your fight. It is inspiring to witness your determination and ability to share your experience with others. I do not believe that most of us, certainly not myself, because I am a self-centered bastard, could or would, be willing to post the details of such a struggle.

    But enough about you. It's time to move on to my most favorite subject, me. Through some strange twist of fate, I am now a half ass judge in addition to being the half ass lawyer I have been for so many years. All I get to hear are cases where idiots blow through red lights, parking tickets, tow cases etc. because it would be complete folly to trust to preside over something of sigificance. So far the best reasons for making a right turn on red without stopping are: 1) I was just trying to get to the Walmart because I really had to use the bathroom; 2) My water just broke - this one was complete with birth certificate; and the leader in the clubhouse - my wife was sitting next to me with a pan of hot lasagna in her lap and I didn't want it to slide. Now I would be remiss in light of Sara's posting referencing biblical verse if I did not acknowledge the thought that "Judge not, lest thee be judged", but these people are truly morons. I frequently wonder how it is that they are even permitted to operate a motor vehicle and I shutter to think that they do not even need a license to procreate.

    I was going to end with that, however, I believe that Sara still has the longest above and I just cannot allow that to be. While her thoughts might be more inspiring and heartfelt, mine will take up the most space. Perhaps what I have to say may not be meaningful, but at the very least it will be
    long winded and I can take solace and pleasure in knowing that I made you and 42+ followers on this site waste two minutes of their day reading my bullshit. The only difficulty I am having is that I have to type my ramblings in this tiny box and I have no idea as to whether I have achieved my goal of the longest post or whether I need to keep going. I can certainly go on saying nothing for quite a bit longer, but at some point do I want to risk losing the reader. It's a fine line here. At what point does the reader begin to see my comments as nothing more than what one hears when an adult speaks in a Charlie Brown cartoon, "Wah wah wah wah". Of course, if I do become intolerably boring, perhaps it will help you with your sleep issues.

    At this point, I am pretty sure that I still have not yet achieved the top spot for longevity so I am compelled to continue on. What I really need here is long meaningful quote from someone far more eloquent than I. However, since I cannot think of anyone other than you who I believe could impart such eloquence I will continue.

    I've noticed that you have kept in touch with college friends over the years. Myself, Sara, Sue, your wife, and I know Rossi is out there despite his efforts to remain silent. I have not been quite as vigilant in my efforts, and so I now take a moment to say hello to Sara and Sue. I need not pause to acknowledge Rossi or your wife at them at one of our "club" meetings.

    Hopefully I have reached my goal for longevity since I must now shower and head out for the day. Michael, be better.

  6. Yo Mike. (Record setting shortest post)