Wednesday, March 10, 2010

God's Mysterious Ways

There is a blog post circulating out in the blogosphere and a number of people are outraged by it. The woman who writes at the blog has had fertility issues and is now in the beginning stages of adoption. Recently, one of her husband's relatives died - leaving behind a husband and three week old baby. The woman posted on her blog and the extended family has been discussing the possibility of she and her husband adopting the baby. There has been no mention of the father WANTING to give his child to anyone in the family - but the family is discussing it amongst themselves. In the words of the blog writer - "Sometimes God moves in mysterious ways".

My thoughts:

I, as a Christian, do not believe that God's "mysterious ways" include killing young mothers and leaving their heartbroken husbands too emotionally bereft to care for their child. And honestly, I don't think most Christians do - even when they say it about circumstances like the one you are talking about. (Yes, I've read that blog.)

What I DO believe that God can bring something good out of a young mother dying. And I think that is what most people mean when they use the phrase "God's mysterious ways". Not that God causes terrible things to happen to one person so that someone else can benefit!! But that when God allows terrible things to happen - that he also uses those circumstances to bring good.

Sometimes, the person hurt is the same person who benefits. I know that I can look back through my life and see times when awful things have happened. Things that, at the time, seemed like they would be the end of the world, that I would never recover. But, I can see how sometimes, from those horrible situations, came really amazing, awe-inspiring blessings. That doesn't mean that the bad things didn't happen - but I believe that God allowed them to happen, because he knew something I didn't.

Now, there are also some awful, terrible things that have happened in my life - and I don't know why in the heck they happened. They still hurt, though I've obviously lived through them - but I still desperately wish they hadn't happened to me. But I believe that it is possible that someone else benefitted from some of those circumstances. In some cases, I'm pretty sure they did. In others, maybe I just can't see why they happened yet.

I guess I kind of think about it like organ donation - NOT THAT A BABY IS THE SAME AS AN ORGAN! But that in order for a man with end-stage kidney failure to live - someone else must die. I know that many waiting people, and their loved ones, have a hard time with thinking about that fact. But they desperately want to live. And so, they hope and pray that an organ becomes available. Does anyone really fault them for the reality that they are essentially hoping and praying for someone else to die? For someone else's mother, father, siblings, spouse, child to be devestated? No, we usually don't. And at some point they may feel sad or guilty for their donor's family - but their overwhelming emotion is generally joy.

In the same way, when someone is hoping to become a parent through adoption (especially after years of loss and devestation surrounding miscarriages and fertility treatments) they tend to minimize the pain of the mother who will be losing their child.

I realize that this isn't a perfect analogy - many will argue that being childless does not equal death. But, for many women (and men) it certainly feels that way. I also agree that parenting is not a "right" that everyone should expect to recieve. But the reality that living to be 90 years old isn't a "right" either. But here, in this day and age, in our society, we have made both feel like rights that should be granted to all humans. When someone dies young, we say "it isn't fair" - especially when we compare it to people who abuse and misuse their bodies and health. And, when a woman can't concieve naturally - she doesn't feel that it is "fair" when she sees other woman "accidently" getting pregnant.

The reality is that life isn't fair - we all know this right? But we still want it to be. And sometimes we are selfish, and we want what we want - even at the expense of someone else. I'm not saying that it is right for these family members to be arguing over baby-rights. But I'm also saying it doesn't make them awful people. It makes them human.

Why do some people get to live to be 90? Why do some people get to have babies easily and naturally? I don't know. But I believe God has a plan, albeit it sometimes mysterious, for each and every one of us.


  1. I tried to look through the other lens and I will admit I don't know all the details but the tone of the original post rubs me the wrong way.

    First there is no mention of the father having any desire to not parent his child.

    Second the scheming is being orchestrated by his own family (imo family by marriage is still family).

    Third he just lost his wife and she tries to make herself appear the bigger person by saying she would have let him have two or three weeks to grieve had it not been brought up by someone else. TWO OR THREE WEEKS TO GRIEVE?!

    Fourth it feels like she knows this isn't best practice but throws in god and his mysterious ways to make everything okay.

    All those things said that doesn't mean I think she's evil. I wanted to reach out and hug her when she goes into detail about how she feels the other family would be better for the family mostly because of their material possessions and because they're experienced parents. I want to tel her the same things I tell women considering relinquishment. That material things don't outweigh love and that every parent had to start out without being an experienced parent.

    I know sometimes I dont express things the best way on my blog so I try to give others the benefit of the doubt on theirs which is one reason I didn't link to the post. I dont want to attack her but I did need to vent about my feelings of disgust.

  2. I couldn't agree more. It really hurts me when people try to see God's hand directing every tragedy...I just try to find God's hand and hold it in the tragedy. He is my way out.

  3. I haven't read it, and I don't know them, so I choose not to judge when I don't know all the facts. What a tough situation! Yes, God will carry us through trials and bring good from it, but He is never the author of evil.

  4. One man's loss is another man's gain.

    That is one of the laws of the universe. It's nice to find a $20 dollar bill on the ground, but it sucks that somebody had to loose it so that you could. But what the hey, you loose 20 bucks on the ground, you work off some bad karma.

    It is a little different when someone storms in playing Robin Hood.

    Read Mark 10-9

    Perhaps they could offer to babysit or something.

  5. I read the blog you mention and it really bothered me. It seemed cruel that the family was discussing adoption instead of talking about how to help the young dad with his new baby. It seems that it would have been more "Christian" to offer to help with child care, make some meals, etc than to decide on who could do it all better.

  6. Very well said!! Same can be said of therapyisexpenive's comment.

    As for the relationship with organ donation - it fits. Yes, someone must die. In the same capacity, watch the movie Seven Pounds with Will Smith. Very moving.

    I, too, struggle with the "not fair" part of not being able to conceive...more like I'm angry that I can't conceive because of the mistakes other people have made. At the same time, I realize that, yes - LIFE ISN'T FAIR, and that it's not MY will that I'm on this planet to fulfill, but HIS WILL! And to fulfill HIS WILL, sometimes he has some tough lessons in store for us.


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