“If god is real, why is there suffering around the world?”
My parents were never hugely religious, they never taught my brother and I the importance in having faith; as a result I’ve never been a strong believer. I never really had any reason to turn towards it. That belief changed quite early during my struggle.
My first memory attempting to bargain with god was at age 14/15 going to mass with my mother. It wasn’t so much mass, more of a healing service. My mam had said to me that there was a saint dedicated to healing the sick. His name is Padre Pio, I was drawn in after hearing what miracles he was capable of. I prayed and prayed and prayed to him and to god for a miracle and healing for my recent injuries. Weeks went by and I still felt no different. One night my mam said to me to get dressed as my aunt (around the corner) had something special. Around we went and there she had Padre Pio’s glove, supposed to be responsible for many miracles. I tried the glove, placed it all over where the disease had affected. I was given space and time alone. I placed it over my legs, my skull, all around my head and prayed that this ritual would heal me. Months passed and there were no signs of improvement.
I stayed hopeful that soon my prayers would be answered. I attended retreats, mass and religious meeting in hopes these good deeds would be recognised and rewarded. Four years or so on and off I had spent pleading for an answer as to why this happened to me. “Why me” “how can I fix it”. It was at a religious retreat when the eucharist was present that I got the message. The eucharist (supposed to be Jesus) was among the room where 50-100 young people were attending. I prayed and pleaded in the privacy of my own thoughts with this spirit who was apparently among us. I broke down crying, an indication as to how important this meant to me. I couldn’t handle another no, it’s never been clear why I’ve been dealt with this fait. The eucharist was taken out of the room and there I was, still in the same predicament I was in before it entered. That was it, I felt like giving up and that’s what I did, in the form of no longer having faith. Why have I been pulled in to this devastation without any certain route out, no reason, no explanation and no assurance that it would end.
My status was getting worse, degenerating from independent walking, to crutches; crutches to Segway, Segway to wheelchair, I still had so many questions unanswered but I was prepared to travel the rest of my journey alone rather than have the build up false hope every time I was posed with a possible miracle cure just to be disappointed and disregarded. I cut ties with god like all I’ve known to do. The only hope religion built up was false hope, I had been let down too many times now to continue.
I see medicine as a more realistic answer. Friends and family are all I need to make my life worthwhile right now until the day medicine or science will hold the cure.
I still believe that god is responsible for steering our path in life, but why he won’t relieve me from my struggles, I have no idea. He’s had so many chances to grant that miracle, but I’ve grown impatient now. God and I are no longer on speaking terms as a result.