Friday, May 04, 2007

A Prayer

Dear God,

It's not that we don't care. It's that we care too much.

You think that when our people don't cry after seeing images on their television screen or hearing about terrorist attacks or knowing that someone is sick, it's because they can't feel? That's not so. It's because we can feel and we feel deeply and we're trying to protect ourselves from being hurt and feeling helpless. So we remove ourselves from that image on the screen or those people in the story, we put them down to Other People whom we do not need to think about.

Except, we know that there are no Other People.

And at night, God, when I'm alone and there's no one else here to see, that, God, is when I care and it presses on me and I wish there was something, anything I could do but feel totally helpless.

I don't believe that normal people are ever really truly desensitized. It's a protection, a covering, but it can be stripped away and then, oh then you feel and it hurts, God, and that is why we usually don't go there, don't allow ourselves there. Except you seem to have made it so that I can't control it and when I begin to think then it all comes in a wave and hits me and then I cannot stop it; I simply have to let it be.

All I can do is sit here and read about how this beautiful girl is slowly being destroyed- her body at least, never her spirit. I read about the fact that she has an excruciatingly painful bloodclot in her lungs. I read about her pressure wounds which seem to get worse despite the doctor's treatment. I read about the fact that they've already tried four different types of treatment and the tumor hasn't responded to any of them. She's dosed up on pain meds, but that means that she's not alert and can't eat, and she needs to eat for other parts of her body to heal. She can't move the whole left side of her body. She's on oxygen and when they take her off of oxygen, her levels fall very quickly. Everything interferes with everything else; she's on pain medicine but they can't give her too much because it will interfere with her breathing. She's on steroids which makes her skin fragile so that she has pressure sores. All this and she's what, twenty or so?

But you know that, God, because you're doing it to her.

And for that I am angry, angry with you, God, or at least I was, but that has been replaced now, replaced by sorrow, a weary, weary sorrow where it's not worth it to be angry with you, not right now. Perhaps later, God, when I have time.

But for now...I am overwhelmed by this feeling of absolute gratitude...I'm grateful to be able to get out of bed in the morning, to walk, to dance in the rain, to sing, to breathe. Grateful to have the opportunity to go to school and take tests and have friends. Grateful for life, grateful for the life that I usually take for granted. And at the same time I wonder- why be grateful to you when you could take it all away in an instant, when you have done this to her? But even so I am grateful for your world and my life because in the end I love you, God, and it is not so much that I am angry at you as hurt by you when you hurt other people.

I know you never made any promises, but isn't it a little misleading to let someone grow up so healthy and naturally well and then take it all away? But then I think and realize that at least she did have that time; I wouldn't want someone to be born sick, either. So I think out loud.

But is it really necessary, God? After Aviva and Tanielle, now this, and again to someone so young, someone near my age?

I am grateful to be healthy and alive, grateful for my friends, grateful for my mind, grateful even to sit here and type this and write this to people who will read it and care. I am grateful to have been born with the full use of my physical and mental faculties. I am grateful. You know I am; you can read my thoughts.

I am also bewildered and hurt and upset and frustrated, so frustrated, by my inability to do anything useful. So all I can do is pray, and you know that the only way for me to pray is through my words, not in a conventional manner. So here is my prayer, God.

Please don't hurt her anymore.
Please let her be well.


the only way i know said...

Stunning, Chana

Bewildered is a good description..
Safer than anger, because we simply don't know and cannot understand His ways. We haven't been given the insight.. and so we suffer silently in bewilderment..
Anger comes into it naturally, for many though, because it's a normal human reaction

yes, we must pray.. I truly believe it's the answer to everything - even to help to dispel anger

May G-d's creations know suffering no more.

Anonymous said...

Look, due my experience Hashem had all reasons on what He did this world, good and bad. We don't have His Views meaning 360 degree we the human have 180 degree. You don't know what is going on thier lives, only Hashem. He have a reason, hard to understand, but we have to accept it, move on and help whatever you humanly way can. We could talk about it? ok?

Looking Forward said...

hashem y'rachem.

Anonymous said...

1:3 “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the East…
2:10 A river flows out of Eden to water the Garden.

15:13 “In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed; you guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
15:17 You brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your own possession…
15:26 “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right…
16:4 “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you…
16:12 …and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’”
16:32 ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, in order that they may see the food with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’”
20:2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;”
34:26 The best of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the LORD your God.

9:8 “Be still, so that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you.”

19 all
19:3-5 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are the words; their voice is not heard; yet their melody goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
19:7 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.
23 all
62:2-3 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

1:5 Let the wise also hear and gain in learning…
1:8 Hear, my child, your father’s instruction, and do not reject your mother’s teaching
1:20 Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice. At the busiest corner she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks
1:23-28 I will pour out my thoughts to you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, have stretched out my hand and no one heeded, and because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when panic strikes you, when panic strikes you like a storm, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but will not find me.
1:33 but those who listen to me will be secure
2 all
3 all
3:13-18 Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding, for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy.
4:7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever else you get, get insight.
4:10 Hear, my child, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.
4:13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.
4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
4:20-23 My child, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life.
5:15 Drink from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.
6:4 Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber.
6:9 When will you rise from your sleep?
6:21-23 Bind them upon your heart always…When you walk it will lead you; when you lie down it will talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light…
8 all
8:4 “to you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live.
10:11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life
10:14 The wise lay up knowledge, but the babbling of a fool brings ruin near.
18:4 The words of the mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream.
19:20 Listen…that you may gain wisdom for the future.
22:17-18 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise and apply your mind to my teaching; for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.

Song of Songs

Chana said...

Last anonymous,

Forgive me; I don't understand what you mean to tell me.

You seem to be telling me that God loves his people (Exodus), then quote the psalm that tells me "for God alone my soul waits in silence" suggesting that I can be near him. Your quotes from Proverbs are scary- you're suggesting that God "will laugh at your calamity" and that I cannot find him. Then you suggest that I should listen to the "words of the wise" but I don't know who that would be.

Could you please explain what you mean by your quotes? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I will try to explain. Each of these verses is describing/refering to the same thing but from a different vantage point. You are searching your mind for answers and meaning but if you wish to understand what I presented you, you must recognize that it was not specifically tailored for you but it is an illustration of something more profound. First you must turn off your mind and begin to listen with your heart. If you simple read each verse, then feel with your heart you will understand what I was presenting. If your heart feels what is being conveyed through these verses, it will answer your prayer.