Sometimes blog readers ask me if my faith supports me. It sure does. To explain this, I again use a self-invented metaphor.
It reminds me of my student days. My parents supported me when I wanted to go to university, to enable me to develop further. In addition, they hoped that this would give me a better chance of being able to practice the profession that I so wanted and thought would suit me best. They found it a bit terrifying that I had to move into a dorm in another city, because they knew (probably better than I did at the time) what dangers could come my way. But they trusted me and my inner strength and wanted me to indulge it. In addition, which was very important to me, they told me that I would always be welcome at home. I realized that this also applied if I didn’t make it or if something terrible would happen.
I have the same idea about God. I am allowed by God to live in my dorm on this earth. God might have wanted to put me under a bell jar to protect me from all dangers, but knows it’s even more important that I get the space and freedom to develop. God also hopes that I will discover how beautiful it is to have a wonderful, meaningful time together with the other students, the other inhabitants of this globe, and to help each other.
That’s why I’m never angry with God for getting cancer. Nor do I ever wonder what its purpose is. (Because I am occasionally asked about both.) During my student days I never called my parents angrily asking why they had not prevented me from failing my exam. Or asked them what goal they had in mind when I fell into the canal with bicycle and all due to a traffic accident. These dangers are not generated by them. They could have prevented all that by keeping me at home, but I needed the freedom, I was granted it and the risks come with the freedom.
My parents think it’s terrible that I’m having cancer now, and I think God does too. But if one day it goes wrong and my body literally breaks down, due to cancer or old age, I leave this ‘student uniform’ behind on earth and I am -just like everyone else- welcome home to God. To start the next adventure from there, wherever and in whatever yet unimaginable form.
Until then, I may enjoy with you this special period in our existence, which we call ‘life’. A period in which we are given space and new opportunities every day. Opportunities to learn and to try -with trial and error and in the midst of all the risks- to make the world a bit better together.