From a faithful reader:
When my little girl’s cancer returned after 2 years – I can say I was very angry with God. I was angry with doctors, with my husband (he was very convenient and I was pissed), with my other children. Just mad.
She asked me, “Mom, why did God do this to me?”. I told her God was not in the disease, but in the overwhelming love that God’s people demonstrated to us all. And gradually – that was the truth. I got it. She will graduate from college – it has been almost 15 years since the relapse. Chances were slim and for some reason, she got well. At one point we stopped the chemo – we could not put her through any more suffering. I think we believed we were taking her home to die, but spring came, she joined a hockey team, her hair grew back, she became an activist at a very early age for the poor. She doesn’t remember much about it, but says that she feels the call to give back. She is a prayerful person – always has been. Tony Snow, Elizabeth Edwards, my friend Robert – all have relapsed, but their lives have huge meaning and the relapse is not the end of life – perhaps the beginning of a meaningful phase of life – one that teaches us all about the great lessons – respect, compassion, empathy and love.
God uses these tragedies to teach us – not a sadistic God who causes it all, but one who allows us to learn in the midst of suffering. It transforms us all. When bad things happen, we only have two choices – bitterness or transformation. God always offers transformation. We are leaving for my father’s funeral in a few hours. We will meet relatives that we have not seen in many years. Brothers and sisters, cousins, my mom, and all these relationships will be transformed once again by the compassion and empathy that God is using to make us holy.