Violence Solves Suffering

I think it’s interesting how things have turned out.

I Skyped with an old friend tonight. She lives in Belgium and I met her when she lived in a castle in Antwerp. But since then her boyfriend kicked her out of the castle, took all her money, her horses died, some of her dogs died, and now she’s living in an unfamiliar town with no friends anywhere near.

She was pretty depressed tonight. We were talking about getting her a YouTube channel so she can at least tell some of her amazing stories. She used to be a TV show host and had an incredible TV persona. She is still a gem in this world of dirt.

But it’s the dirt that’s got her down. I showed her my YouTube channel to show her what she could do and she clicked on one of the guided Bible meditations I had made. It started going and I didn’t realize she didn’t know how to make it stop. And I watched her shake her hands in frustration and annoyance as she listened and she kept on shaking her head, saying, “No! No! I absolutely cannot focus on God!” (which it was guiding her to do) “There is no God!” This went on for ten minutes and she just got more frustrated. God was such a negative thought for her. I could see it mounting on her face.

And when the meditation finally finished the next one started and that’s when I realized she had no idea how to stop it. So I described to her how to do it and she finally got it to go away.

But afterwards, as her frustration settled and we both were witness to what just happened, I tenderly asked her why she doesn’t believe in God.

She said with all the bitterness and frustration that had been building up within her, “Because, there is so much suffering! Why would a good God allow suffering?”

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That’s a valid response. And because I love her so much it got me thinking about it again. I had also been thinking about why there is a lot of violence endorsed in the Bible. That’s a tough one too. But then I realized that the two questions answer each other, and the issue drops to the floor.

We ask why is there so much suffering. And an answer (like we’ve all heard) is because we used our free will to serve our selfish nature. And then we blame God for everything that’s gone wrong. But when His solution is to wipe out many of the ones who are ruining it we blame him for being too violent! He’s probably thinking, you guys are so unfair!

But isn’t there a kinder alternative to just wiping whole groups of people off the face of the earth? So, as I’m thinking, it seems the only way to remove the suffering would be to remove the free wills that have caused it. But would we rather God remove our free wills instead of removing our lives? Would losing our free will not just completely take the me out of me, or by making me do everything he wants, make me a slave forever? I think maybe death is the quicker, more merciful alternative.

We are the ones who have taken a good gift and chosen to use it for ourselves. And when God does the one thing he can do to make the bad things stop happening, removing the free wills who are souring it all, we blame him for that as well.

Maybe we should stop that.

It’s interesting how things have turned out.

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Raw Spoon, 4-21-16