Does God Make Mistakes? - page 2
by Julie Reyes, DNP, CPNP-AC, RN | 26,604 Views | 84 Comments
I looked up at the doctor across the crib who is still hovering over him and checking his ventilator and trachea. Wildly he flailed as the doctor touched his abdomen. I tried to calm him by holding his hand. This is the first... Read More
- 2Jul 16, '09 by rachelgeorginaI work in a hospital specifically for children with exceptionally severe mental and physical disabilities. All the children are developmentally delayed, none can talk, almost none can walk (bar one, and other who walks with a frame), more than 50% are gastrostomy fed only, more than a quarter are epileptic to some degree on top of their primary disability, most spend their days between bed, a variety of splints and their wheelchairs that have so many harnesses and supports to align their bodies I haven't quite figured them all out yet...
& less than half these kids are NFR (not for resuscitation) or specifically not signed for transfer (to a major hospital for further treatment.) Why? Because they have a fairly wonderful quality of life.
The other night I was getting my kids ready for the evening and a boy, not much older than me, wandered into the room, telling me that he was one of my pt's cousins. Now, this kid is seven, he's blind, developmentally delayed, epileptic and has some sort of chromosomal disorder that significantly impairs him. Yet when his cousin sat down by his side and began to speak to him, the child changed - he lit up. He ate everything his cousin fed to him that night (and nothing from me, after all my attempts!) and even laughed!
Sometimes I wonder... a lot of these kids go through major surgeries (like nissans and gastronomy implants for reflux, spinal rods, tendon releases and so forth) that are exceptionally painful, though preformed with the intention of improving their quality of life. Yet the kids dont understand what is happening to them for the most part and they generally have horrible recovery and rehab pain associated (we have one little girl who had a tendon release in her hip and is now is a cast that covers from her abdo to her knees. It has two holes, one for her button and one for her nappy!) I can't even begin to imagine.
I dont know what the answer is. I dont think any of us really do. I guess all we can do is give them the best quality of life that we can with the limited resources they have to experience it.
- 9Jul 16, '09 by J9G2008I have a son who had a trach and a jaw distraction done by two weeks of age. I, too, have wondered whether we were "playing God" by putting the trach in, as all the other interventions came about because the trach made it possible. I have stared into my son's eyes at two months, six months, a year, and wondered "is anyone in there?". He has now had so many surgeries we have lost track, more scars than any human should have, and a connection to all people who meet him that just makes them love him. Did we play God when he was born? Maybe. But I also know that God could have taken him any number of times since then, and he hasn't. He has allowed this child to learn to eat, talk (some), run (couldn't walk til 2 years old), and generally make us praise God for giving him to us.
- 16Jul 16, '09 by AgrippaThis was well written and touching.
As someone mentioned before, this does presume the existence of God. To me, it seems as if the issues you faced in this experience is one that has been questioned from the beginning of christian thought.
How can a just, all loving, all powerful God allow such suffering? How can he let bad things happen to good people & vice versa? This is a question that I struggle with almost daily.
As someone who was raised in the church and now am agnostic, the answers to this question that many have offered I have found to be intellectually lazy at best and self soothing/delusional at worst. There are thousands of babies that die every day. Every 5 seconds an innocent child dies an excruciating death from the lack of clean water in Africa. This is God's will? Some tell me that yes, their suffering gives us an opportunity to be giving and compassionate. This sickens me - the idea that an innocent child/person is made to suffer so that people may have the opportunity to be compassionate. It gives me no comfort at all.
Then inevitably, the answer evolves into the unchallengeable idea that we as humans cannot comprehend the wisdom/logic of God. It would be as if a chimp were trying to comprehend quantum physics, an impossibility. Well then, just as we would not punish the chimp for being unable to do what he is incapable of doing, should God not also have mercy on those who do not believe in him due to our minds not being able to comprehend his existence?
Furthermore, I imagine that there are thousands that die (and have died in the past) that have never even picked up a book let alone heard about Jesus Christ. Thus, since they don't believe that Christ died for their sins, they are destined to burn in hell forever and ever? Oh, but God loves you.
I'm not trying to degrade your story, but I can't stand idly by statements such as "God never makes mistakes." I would really like to believe that, trust me. If you can enlighten me to the truth of this without wishful thinking or emotional investment, I would be forever grateful. Until then, I cannot agree. It seems to me that bad things things happen to good people for no reason at all. The saving grace is that we have a choice in how to react to this.
- 1Jul 16, '09 by amateuri think that God gives us these 'challenges' and its up to us to react from it. so its our fault if we commit mistakes and not Him, if we do the right one then we should be congratulated... if no one will, its easy ---- flex the elbow of your right hand... then hold that elbow with your left hand and then tap your own left shoulder. there you will feel better, PROMISE. i do it all the time.
- 13Jul 16, '09 by J9G2008To: Agrippa
Yes, I agree that the suffering of people all around the world does make one question the existence of God. I would add, however, that the world as given us by God was just as we needed it to be. The water was pure, the land was healthy and produced good food, and there was enough for everyone. Over time, men polluted the land, became political animals, and sought to gain power to the detriment of others. The situation in Africa is an example of governments that do not provide for their people, preferring instead to enrich themselves rather than dig wells.
I don't want to get into a big theological debate; I am not qualified. But I will say that I think it's unfair to blame God for all the troubles that man has brought upon himself.
- 4Jul 16, '09 by ACRN06Beautiful story! Powerful message.No, God does not make mistakes, EVERY life is a precious gift and serves a unique individual purpose that God put them on this earth for, however short a time it may be.
- 7Jul 17, '09 by spenmomTo Agrippa and those who so eloquently brought up the fact that the very nature of this post presupposes that a God exists, or that Someone is in charge of all this chaos.
That is an idea that in my heart I know to be true, yet when I see the suffering of others, I have to ask myself, "What is the purpose of this?" I hate to see another person suffer needlessly, especially when there is no family support, as in situations that some of you have mentioned. And, when you factor in those who die needlessly every day due to lack of adequate food, clean water, sanitation, etc., it is staggering that a God could exist and allow this to happen.
But I look at it this way. God (we'll just use that generic name for now...call him/it/them/her whatever you will) gave us the earth, but we as humans have the right to make choices and those choices have consequences, some good, some bad. For those in countries that are poor despite adequate international aide, and have high mortality rates despite international intervention, they have their leaders to hold accountable for the stewardship of those funds, the distribution of those funds, and the welfare of the people under their care.
As for the people who fall ill needlessly (in our view), who are born with what seem to be unsurmountable odds, or whatever the case may be, do you not find yourself touched and your heart opened when you care for them? Do you not feel a connection to them? Do you not find that you are a more compassionate person, a more caring person, and a less judgmental person (at least towards patients, maybe not toward some particular family members) when you provide care for people who are suffering? I think that is part of the point of their suffering. Unfortunately, they have to suffer in order for us to grow as humans, to enhance our capacities as nurses and as human beings, so that we can be strong in the face of whatever may come next in life, be it something related to our own child, a child of a friend, a husband, etc., who may have the misfortune of a terminal illness that lingers, requiring 24-hour care. I just believe that all people are special in their own way, no matter their past, and when it comes down to the time before death, or the time they linger as terminally ill, they deserve our utmost concern, care, love, and competentce.
Call me naive if you will, but after having a son with a disability, after seeing him reach milestones doctors never predicted, and after pushing to have procedures done which would help him (after doing research on my own), he is now as fully functional as possible, goes to school on his own, has no interventions at school, and is a true miracle to me (yes, we also put in a tremendous amount of hard work and an insane amount of money on therapies). Why this happened for him and not for others, I cannot say. I can only hope that someday, somehow, this crazy world will all make sense.
I can't answer for the actions of a higher power--wouldn't dream of it, but I think most of the problems we see are due to consequences of our own actions (poor prenatal care, drinking/drugs while pregnant, oxygen deprivation during birth, and just plain bad luck). And also, it is just life, it is not fair, and all we can do is help each person we can, the best way we can. We will never know how much of a difference we actually make.
Best of luck to you all as you sort through this. Would love to hear anyone else's rationalization of getting through taking care of such patients! I spend a lot of time shedding tears, because I feel like I should do more, but there isn't more I can do; I can't fix the underlying problem and make everything better.
- 1Jul 17, '09 by Mandie-SRNThank you so much for sharing your experience. i had to write a paper last semester on ethics as well and until you are placed in the actual situation it is hard to say exactly what you would do. That is why they always say to students,"Make sure you self evaluate yourself and your own beliefs before you get started as a nurse. Experiencing these types of things as a student is wonderful in a sense because it prepares you for what is to come. Keep up your compassion..... it is much needed in the hospitals.
Amanda T.- Elsevier Student Ambassador