E.S. and Suffering

July 26, 2009 by Rieshy
I drove around the world the last two days.  It felt like I circumnavigated the globe at least once at any rate.  So many different types of errands, phone calls, paperwork, and driving trips. One trip was to Nashville for Jack to have some blood work done at Vanderbilt Children's.  We ended up eating in the food court after picking up paperwork and before having the labs drawn.  Jack needed the carbs Before the stress of the blood draw.  

Vanderbilt's food court is a people watching extravaganza.  Such a strange place to be.  Nice to be there without having Jack sick and tethered to an I.V. stand.  Nice to be there with the expectation of leaving after a quick lab.  The parents that look tired and have mismatched clothes on, or borrowed scrubs, the parents that won't make eye contact because all their energy is going into not crying- those are the parents that I wish I could hug.  But being a non-demonstrative type myself that's a big stretch to imagine.  In fact I'm pretty sure if a stranger came up to hug me in a food court I'd probably think they were trying to steal my purse. 

Jack noticed a couple of new paintings, touched all his favorite sculptures.  He actually asked me who painted one of the new paintings.  I never thought I'd have a child so familiar with a hospital, but bless whoever raised the funds to add public art.  I don't mean a vague, "bless their hearts".  I mean I hope God Blesses them!  The train display is always the treat/bribery we save for when we are leaving.  I wonder if the train buffs who built it really understand what it means for the kids who spend way too much time up there?

In the car Greg and I had a conversation about Fools and Suffering.  Think along these lines; Does it count as suffering, with the accompanying scriptural promises of support, if your personal "hard times" are a result of your own stupidity? 

 I've heard people recently talking about the recession and the problem of the skyrocketing foreclosure rate with almost a gleeful air of; "serves people right to lose their homes if they were stupid/arrogant/greedy...."  I've heard people talk about illness in the same way.  "She has cancer, but she smoked for all those years...."  As if to say, she's getting what she deserves so don't be too concerned about her suffering.   When people used to ask me about my mother's illness I always told them that, "she has Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, but she never took Fen-Phen."  Did that mean I thought that people who did take Fen-Phen didn't deserve as much sympathy?

Many of the passages about suffering in the Bible deal with enduring hardships caused by religious persecution, or with suffering caused by sin in the world.  But what of sheer stupidity?  What if you've overdrawn your checking account because you paid the bills but forgot to deposit your paycheck first- and now you have so many overdraft charges your already stretched paycheck won't cover it all?  (Btw Greg, purely hypothetical)  That can cause "suffering" especially if you have medications to buy that you no longer have the money to cover.  It's not righteous suffering, it's embarrassing suffering, or E.S.  

Personally Greg and I agreed that we have a lot of E.S. in our lives.  Big surprise, two mathematically challenged art majors got married and had a large family and run a business... Because we have a lot of E.S. in our lives we are extremely thankful for a merciful God.  Personally I think I'll run with, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." -Romans 12: 15  and "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.  For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get." -Matthew 7:1-2

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