Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Who to Blame

She didn’t do it.  It wasn’t really her fault, really, I’m serious. 

God didn’t do it.  She didn’t have strokes because God wanted that, really, I can’t believe that.

We have to learn to quit blaming the broken, quit blaming God for the brokenness.  Some things just are.

It’s a pretty natural condition, assigning blame.  I call it natural because it’s what I naturally want to do and I am Joe Average so I know and understand everything.  When Marty had her first stroke I badly wanted to blame someone, I wanted to hold someone accountable, I just couldn’t find the right person.

When Marty had her second stroke I was still looking, looking for someone or something to blame.  It just seemed natural that someone or something did this to her and I wanted to be angry and shout at the person or entity responsible.  I just couldn’t yell at the right person, it would have helped if knew who that was.

There is the crowd that wants to blame this on Marty.  She has to have some accountability and aren’t we all about the accountability.  She was overweight, she smoked, she didn’t exercise and she had a family history.  I thought about blaming her for this whole mess, it made sense and it would be easy because she feels guilty about the burden she has cast upon her family.  She feels like she is to blame so why not just blame her.

The only problem with that theory is that there are lots and lots of people walking around who made a lot worse life style choice than Marty and they have not been afflicted with this disease or any other disease.  I see them every day, I know them, I know their history, I wonder every day why not them instead of Marty.  There is no answer.

Is Marty to blame?  Maybe, partly, I suspect the strokes would have come regardless of her life style choices.  The ruptured aneurysm that almost killed her was congenital.  That’s not her fault.
There’s the fundamentalist religious crowd that wants to blame Marty and her sins.  Their view is this is God’s wrath visited upon an abject sinner.  She made mistakes in God’s eyes; she has to pay God’s fee for the mistakes so God takes those things she most prizes as payment.  I’m not sure I buy this theory of blame either, aren’t we all abject sinners?

Maybe it’s my fault.  If I hadn’t worked so much so far away so much of the time, maybe I could have made a difference somehow.  Maybe it’s my sins we are both paying for now, maybe God smote Marty to teach me a lesson.

Then there’s the whole test your faith Book of Job kind of thing.  If this is a test of my faith, I’m losing, if it’s testing my loyalty, I’m doing okay, if it’s to teach Marty and I a greater lesson, I ain’t seeing the point.

There are those that will say this is part of God’s entire big plan for Marty and me, that everything happens for a reason and some day we will see the reason.  Maybe, I have a hard time with that.  I’m a pretty big believer in free will and I just don’t believe in a God that jacks with you like that. 

I’m sorry to all of you who might be bothered by this view but I don’t think God’s plans included Marty being stricken like this.  I believe we have all been touched by God for our very existence but after that, I frankly think God has a much more Laissze-Faire approach to his creation.  God kicks the rock down the hill and then watches it roll, God lets us live life.

What I believe is… we break…. and to quote Gaga, “We are born this way”.  We are created a miracle, a delicate, finely tuned miracle built with remarkable strength and fragility, we break. 
It’s like the old Mouse Trap game, the game where you built a series of triggers, like balls rolling into a basket, to finally drop the trap on the mouse; if one thing in the chain is missing, if one element is out of place, the trap wouldn’t fall and catch the mouse.  In this miracle of a human body we break if the smallest of things gets out of sync with the rest of our body.  We are breakable, we were created breakable, God doesn’t have to proactively break us, it just happens.

None of this means we can abdicate our responsibility in life that we shouldn’t take care of ourselves and those around us.  I understand the role we play in breaking ourselves and others.  I understand it is natural and human to want to lay blame and fix accountability in an effort to ensure some things never happen again.  

We can’t forget the Newtowns, the Auroras, the Katrinas, the Iraq war, 9/11 and all of the other more minor issues that fall on all of us.  We must learn, that’s part of the process too.  I’m just saying that sometimes we should spend more time dealing and understanding the aftermath of the event than blaming the victims.

The right Reverend Leslie of FPC confessed to God the other day in her sermon she needed to quit trying to figure out why bad things happened, why blackness befell good people.  I agree.  It’s not natural to not wonder, but there are no real answers.  Sometimes stuff just happens.

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