Let us go back to a thought that I had voiced in a previous post (http://jssfive.blogspot.com/2009/11/there-but-for-grace-of-god.html) whereby I had expressed the irrationality of the idea that the mowing down of young schoolchildren by a mad gunmen was somehow God’s will. There are people, seemingly religious people, those who have intentionally given themselves to God, devoted their lives to the work of God and because of the simplicity of their lives, because they have renounced their ties to the material world, because they choose horse and buggy over cars we here in the ‘secular’ world believe that somehow they might actually be more ‘godly’ than the rest of us heathens who elect to use cell phones and like to drive fancy cars.
I would like to expand on my earlier thoughts about God’s will or rather that which we might be tempted to ascribe to God’s will as it pertains to trust or perhaps more accurately the inability to trust. The events that we choose to blame on God’s will, the death of a child at the hands of a gunmen, the devastation wreaked by an earthquake (thank you Pat Robertson), cancer, aids, airplanes flying into buildings, all of these tragic events of history are ascribed by so many of our religious ‘leaders’ as God’s will and to be sure sometimes God’s will comes in the form of God’s wrath.
But here’s the thing. These same people who assign responsibility of tragic events to the will of God are those same people who insist, quite possibly in their next breath, that only God can be trusted. In order to be saved (whatever that means) we must place our trust in Jesus, give our lives, our souls over to the care of God and he alone will take care of us.
So I would like to ask how is it possible, when God’s will is served for example by their five-year-old son dying of cancer, for two parents to be able to trust God with their own lives and the lives of the rest of their children? The assignation by the parent of so incomprehensible an event as the death of their child to God’s will is a coping mechanism. “God must have wanted him” we tell ourselves. He is now safe in the arms of God. And nobody would doubt that this is a comforting thought, the ONLY comforting thought they might be able to grab on to and to be sure it may very well be true (one can only hope). Problem is that I, as the parent, am left utterly devastated. And chances are probably pretty darn good that I’m pulling the rest of my children just a little bit closer to me and just a little bit further away from that God guy who seems to apply his will rather imperiously.
I am thinking about trust in the therapeutic relationship this morning. It is, I must admit a bit of a stumbling block for me. We as clients are supposed to lay our inner world open to this person, our thoughts, our emotions, our joys and (mostly) our pain. Two problems with this. First of all the laying open of ourselves, even a little seems to have the undesirable effect of somehow drawing us closer emotionally to this person of the therapist which is an instantaneous signal for the warning sirens to go off and the deflector shields to go up because... Secondly so many of us who end up on a therapist’s couch have had mostly nothing but disappointment and (for some) the most gross violation (annihilation?) of trust by the people who were supposed to love and protect us as children.
And so I ask how is it possible for me to trust my therapist not to up and bail on me in the middle of my hour of need when I cannot even trust God as witnessed by the seeming arbitrariness of the application of His will?
I have a theory (but you already knew that didn’t you) and my theory goes something like this: It is not God’s will that a five-year-old boy dies of cancer. In fact I think it might just be possible that God was nowhere in the vicinity when that young boy died.