Wednesday, December 06, 2006

From a Distance

My favourite easy listening station has gone to the all Christmas all the time format. I have heard the Bette Midler song, "From a Distance" many times in the last week or so and each time I cannot get over how moving the lyrics are to me.

It's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves.
This is the song of every man.
And God is watching us, God is watching us,
God is watching us from a distance.

At this time of year when some of us ramp up our involvement in our church and spend more time contemplating our faith I cannot help but wonder about this. I was raised a Catholic and my girls are going to Catholic school. It is my belief that while faith, morals and values should be taught at home and by example - I take comfort that my daughter's school is echoing what she sees and learns at home. My husband is Greek Orthodox and by all accounts was raised in a household of devotion. He however, finds his faith more in humanity as opposed to the Church. He believes that there is good in everyone (a notion I must admit I find hard to embrace sometimes). Faith is such a personal matter yet it is something we seek to share with others.

My Mom has always held along with her faith the belief that "everything happens for a reason". She firmly believes in a bigger picture we may not be able to understand and everything falls within this Divine plan. Again, this is something I find hard to fully embrace. Why would God take my father from me at age 48 six weeks after I got engaged? What good ever came of this? How could this be a part of any Divine plan? The two miscarriages we have suffered - this was supposedly, "for a reason". What possible reason could this be? Why would God take these babies?

I realize their are so many people in the world with much larger crosses to bear I am but a tiny drop in the bucket of worshippers on this planet. I am certainly no wise theologian or worldly scholar and do not have the answers - what I have is faith.

This time of year opens us up to reflection. Jesus is coming to save us and for this we rejoice. Faith is about having trust and confidence in something even if you cannot see it or touch it. Faith is about believing when you have no proof. My research and fact obsessed mind does believe and for this I am thankful. Some days this is easier than others mind you. Some days I just want to feel sad and angry and not really believe. Deep down though I know I still believe no matter how sad or angry I am.

God is watching us and for this I am grateful. I pray our loved ones no longer with us are at peace and are guiding us through the rest of our days. I love you Dad and think of you everyday. I see you in the faces of the granddaughters you never met. Proof in my mind that God is watching and blessing us every day.

Peace to all this holiday season.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. Timely. Profound.
But now I'm humming "From a Distance." Which is okay - since I'm usually humming Wiggles tunes. This is an improvement.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big opponent of the "everything happens for a reason" line. Even when it's clear that something good has come from a bad situation, I don't like the idea that this good thing is the reason the bad thing happened. I had a miscarriage nine months before Bub was conceived. If that miscarriage had not happened, I wouldn't have the Bub today. In that sense, I don't regret or want to change what happened, but I do have a problem with the idea that God killed the first baby so that Bub could be born. It seems an inefficient way of doing things at best, and malevolent at worst.

It doesn't really matter how big or small the tragedy is - the issue is whether it helps or hurts to think of this as something God has sent. Personally, I find it much easier to cope if I don't think that God has deliberately and specifically chosen to do this to me.

I do think that every bad thing creates a space in which something good can come into being. But that good thing isn't the "reason" for the bad thing.

Jenifer G. said...

Thanks for the kind words. The current favourite song at our house right now is I want a Hippotamus for Christmas which is incredibly hard to shake. It also doesn't help that PG sings every song in a very strange country twang and we have no idea why!

Exactly. It seems against all Christian prinicples that God would do something bad in order to pave the way for something good. The resulting good things cannot be the reason for the bad thing in the first place...just something to help us along the path of healing.

It is so nice to know that there are other people who care and share some of the same thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I think about him everyday too. As hard it gets some days, I think we were really lucky to have him in our lives for as long as we did. Some people don't get the opportunity to know and love their fathers. And others don't have fathers who love them as much as Dad loved us.
I wish we could continue sharing our lives with him as a vivid tangible person who could be there with us to love, hug, smile and laugh. But we will always have our memories of him doing all those things with us when he was here walking and breathing on Earth. I like thinking he is still doing those things with me but from a remote place. But sometimes the heart ache/hurt of missing him is pretty unbearable.
The way you write, reminds me so much of him. Your words, your thoughts echo Dad and your postings are beautiful reminders of him. He was a reader and writer and I really believe you have a gift for writing too. I love your posts. Dad would love them too.