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Some thoughts on why I’m still living and loving

May 19th, 2004 · 1 Comment

My post Why bring kids into this kind of world sparked some discussion and questions.

First, let me say that I was trying to illustrate the interchange that occured in Lenn Pryor’s post and comments with an example from my own life. How my kids help me cope with the horrors of what is in the news now. It was a simple piece…or so I thought!

Second, I will try to write a response to two questions Phil asked in a comment. But these questions about human nature, Good and Evil, are huge. I shouldn’t even try to think I could answer them in a single blog post. Or try to argue my perpective as fact or prove something to someone. Many have spent their lifetimes agonizing over these issues or philosophizing, writing volumes.

What I’ll write below is what I know. It’s what I feel I have to say at this point in time. I’ll try to be concise. I want to share where I am. I wrote this last night as a draft but I think I’m going to publish it without much polishing.

Here’s what Phil asked:

Being pre-offspring as I am, I ask similar questions:

> Sometimes I wonder why we brought children into
> this world. This place is so messed up. Why did
> Ted and I decide to add more people to this planet?
So, how *did* you justify it for yourselves?

> And I find hope.
I don’t see how you can, what about the inevitable pain and badness they’ll have to face?

Existence is a pretty big price to pay for life, when all things are considered, does the good really outway the bad?

First I’ll write a bit about why we decided to bring children into this world.

Children come into the world for a variety of reasons. Everybody’s doing it. Desire to fit in with the Joneses, that- 2.2-kids-and-white-picket-fence conformity. Identity crises and longings for purpose in life. Hope that a child will make a marriage work or fill a family. And, of course, accidents happen.

But I believe that children are also chosen because of love. Love wants to reproduce. Love longs to create.

Speaking from my female perspective, I think that when a woman falls in love, she wants to have a baby with her beloved. Not all women may feel this way. But I think some do. Even before the wedding rings are on the fingers, they may be imagining little children in their arms.

Some may argue that this is biological drive. Or some physiological feeling so that women will give men what they want. Hormones, not heart. So that the genes can keep on propagating and the human race evolve and survive.

But I believe that at least part of this feeling is love. Loving a man and wanting to have a family with him. I think some men may feel this way too.

Who can sort out the spaghetti of emotions and drives that each human carries inside herself? It is difficult to do. Who can know exactly all the reasons why she did something, even given the perspective of time?

Love is powerful. Not just the “in love” helium balloon-bubble, but Love, the kind you know you’d give your life for. And this Love for which you would sacrifice your own life, leads you to bring other lives into existence.

The act of creating children is life-affirming in itself. Simply watch any end-of-the-world disaster film and see what the romantic leads do, how they toss and tumble into each other’s arms as the asteroid approaches. I first heard of this passionate perspective in my high school locker room years ago when some girls began discussing what it was they would want to do if they thought the world was ending…

Love, expressed physically, gives life. Not only emotional and spiritual life, a refreshing of body and spirit and bonding to another human being, but another life as well in a child created from the union.

So from what I’ve written above, it’s clear I believe in Love. I do believe that humans suck. But I also believe humans love. We are both Beauty and Beast. We are strange creatures capable of doing terrible things to each other. We are also able to do good. We can love each other to the point of losing our own lives. Or we can kill each other.

I believe in a spiritual beginning for evil and good. I believe in what could be called Fate and faith. These spiritual beliefs also played a large part in why I wanted to have children.

And they also are the glue that keep me going. I’ve struggled with life. Although I grew up with material possessions and opportunities, more than most people in the world, I had an inner poverty that devastated me. In my family I experienced emotional and spiritual suffering. It was severe: I saw people I loved split apart. I saw what I thought was love shatter like glass into broken bits that cut everyone. My brother suffered a brain tumor as a baby. It was painful and injust. It all made me wonder why I was alive and what purpose existence had. At times I didn’t want to go on any more. All I had seen was black.

But I’ve somehow found a faith in God. At times it is no more than a thread. A thin one. But it is why I am still alive.

In college I studied Holocaust literature. I wanted to know what a people of faith would do when confronted by incredible evil. Where do you find God when you are sent to the gas chambers? How does your faith survive the suffering of a concentration camp? Will you still choose to believe in a God who seems silent?

I don’t have answers to all the questions. I’m not sure even why or how I have faith. Right now where I am, I’m struggling myself. Even though I’ve never experienced anything like a concentration camp. So I feel ashamed for my weakened faith. Me, an American, living the luxurious life. Yet that’s where I am. I’m having a hard time finding God after experiencing darkness and destruction in a new way recently.

But I’ve got to believe. Even if I’m only holding my eyes open in the dark, staring and waiting for the light to come. I’ll keep watching. I’ll keep waiting for Godot. I’ll keep waiting for God. It’s my hope. My only hope.

I believe somehow in Love. I believe that Good can – and will – overcome Evil someday. In my stronger moments of faith, I believe that this God who seems to do whatever He wants to do with the world is good and loving, a God of mystery, with a plan beyond my understanding. Sometimes that involves suffering. Sometimes that involves letting us see each other as we are in our ugliness. And sometimes God allows us to love each other in amazing wonderful ways that show us a glimpse of Goodness.

Sometimes God is silent. Sometimes He speaks. Sometimes I can’t see Him. Sometimes I can.

And when I see God in my children. When I see Him in flowers and trees. When I see him in my husband’s faithfulness and tenderness. Then I know I can hold on to this thread for one more day.

Tags: faith

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Phil // May 19, 2004 at 7:10 am

    I’d really like to comment further, but I don’t think I have the energy to do so at the moment. But I just wanted to say I appreciate you taking the time to respond with your perspective. Thanks. 🙂