Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Prayers that did not/could not save

A man who did not take his daughter to the hospital when she was ill, and instead prayed. And then, she died.

She was 11. He did not want to put doctors before God, he said.

What does one say to something like this?

Many of the readers are incredulous when they read this story. Just how could a man believe that God would heal his daughter? And yet, yet, all of the same readers rush to the nearest place of worship when a loved someone falls ill. Talk about hypocrisy. Of all the hypocrisies, the hypocrisy of faith is the hardest to deal with, as faith is supposed to be the way to truth.

God does not heal. Prayer is a way of comforting oneself when one cannot be comforted. And this does not mean there is no God, though I doubt seriously if there is one. Even if He exists, I do not think he is someone who interferes in the natural paths of living and dying.

The father who lost his daughter because God did not heal her, lost two of the most precious things in the world. A child and a faith. The man is to be pitied, someone who should be comforted, because he has no illusions left anymore, he is faced with stark dark reality, and if there is something that can comfort him, it can be humaneness. We all know this reality, and yet we pretend to not know it, because it is comforting. And this man has lost his comfort blanket. He believed the stories of God that were told to him. He believed, when so many of us, who know better, do not. He lost a precious human being because he believed in what the world told him.

And what does the world do to him? Convicts him of murder.

Instead of joining hands and putting our shoulders next to him to cry tears, tears that recognize the sombre reality, and emphathizing with the need to create stories so that we can somehow obscure the reality we know, we turn our backs on the man, and send him to prison.

Wah re duniya!

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