8/01/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Sherlock ~
Two weeks back I got myself into a somewhat heated discussion regarding prayer which eventually led to the discussion of God. It started when a friend posted, "Thanks God for the rain I don't need to water the plants today" on her wall. I wanted to comment right then but I figured out, "What's the point?" So I just let it go. But a few days later, I posted "Self-centered prayer vs. Collective thinking prayer: Thanks God for the rain I don't need to water the plants today vs. Thanks God for the rain the plants are happy today". This post didn't get any comments but it got 2 likes.
Anyway, a day or two days later I read, somewhere among the comments of my friend's post, something like "God is always good because He never fails to answer the prayer of her humble child." (These are not the exact words because she has deleted that particular post on her wall.) So I couldn't help myself not to comment anymore. So I replied, "It's just rainy season. Prayer has nothing to do with it. Pray for rain in summer and let us see if God hears your prayer". She got angry, I knew for she replied, "You can say whatever you want because you don't believe in prayer. You don't have God". And so the discussion went on and on. And during the discussion I remember asking her, "Are you not bothered about the millions of people outside your world whose prayer are not being heard or answered?" She just replied, "I know my God and He never fails me." Well, what can I say? So to make the story short, that discussion ended amicably...superficially, I think. She ended up praying for me to let Jesus in to my heart and accept Him as my savior. I wanted to answer, "I did once but I found my heart empty and I figured out I didn't need saving, I'll save myself" but I just said, "Sure!" and she "liked" it immediately. The end.
Now, four days back, while browsing at her profile, (I unsubscribed to her wall posts because all of them are just about god, god, god) I found this:
"I couldn't help but be amazed at how people assume to know too much about you. They don't know you and they throw questions as if you don't care. Are you not bothered about the millions of people suffering whose prayers are not answered is a question of foolishness! How many of your FB friends know the real you, huh? It is one thing to get bothered and or to be concerned, but it's another thing to ACTUALLY DO something about it. How many of your FB friends know the rape victims you've helped and whose children you adopted? How many of these creeps know the out-of-school youths you sent to school and colleges so they could be properly equipped to face life? How about the those cancer patients children whom you bridged to those who can financially support? And the street children in Timog Ave. that you sent to DSWD to get proper help. And the times you spent teaching for free to those children whose parents are not capable of sending them to school? How about the AIDS victim that was disowned by her own parents but you took her in your arms until she died? How many pregnant women who were refused a ride by taxis that you let in your car and drive them to the hospitals even if you have exams to catch?
Let's go to Kochi: how many kids are there in the orphanage you and your husband run? how about the old-age house where ungrateful children put their parents into? The list goes on because you are not just bothered, you do things and BE the ANSWER to their prayers. Why do you do these things, I asked (remember, i asked you before?). And you answered: "It is not me. It's the Lord who gives me the desire to help and who empowers me to act on those desire according to his pleasure. The Lord has blessed me in every way, I have to share it to others. There is no other way." Yes, I still remember this because you got my respect, even my family. You are among the few who just don't get bothered and sit. You act on it."
I think her best friend wrote that to her wall. For a while I was tempted to butt in because I know that message is referring to me, about the discussion I had with her the previous days but I guess I'm already tired to get involved in another endless arguments of reason versus no reason.
But I actually draft a reply to this post. Here it is.
I know this post very well, to whom it is for. It is for me because I am the only friend on your list who dared to question your beliefs. I am the only who doesn't say yes to everything you say. I may not know everything about you, about the all charitable works you have done or been doing but I certainly know that there are so many people like you out there doing the same things you do, and/or even more. I admire people who act, who help the needy the best way they can. But do you know the difference between your motivation and their motivation to do all these things? Many of these people don't have a God that inspires them to do good deeds. That's the big difference! And since it is God that inspires you, will you still have the desire to help the less fortunate if there is no God?
(For the best friend)
Not acting or not doing does not always mean not helping. A person has not adopted any orphans in her life but she chose to be child-free. She chose not to create children of her own. She is not contributing/adding to the world's population. Is she not helping?
A person does not help campaigning against AIDS but he/she practices safe sex. He/She doesn't have multiple partners. Is he/she not helping?
Teaching kids for free is very admirable. But what you are teaching is also very important. How about teaching the parents themselves? How about knocking their heads off and try to make them listen to, "How dare you breed when you couldn't even give your children a proper education?" Is addressing this issue not important?
Those are the only answers I could think right now. If you were me, should you have replied? How would you address that post?
I know that there is nothing wrong with having an inspiration to do good things but why only God? One could at least draw inspiration from a Teddy Bear or someone who has really lived and made a difference. Why God?
I also know that we don't need God to do good deeds or to be kind to other people and to the other creatures whom we share this planet with.
(Timog Ave. is in Manila, Philippines)