Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Better than God

For some reason, today, I am struggling with the platitudes that people feel compelled to share when people die or are dying. I know they mean well and I don't want to be mean. Still, I am struggling because I don't think people really think them all the way through.

A friend of mine has a baby girl who is dying before his families eyes. Somebody posted a note to the baby girl that said, "Peace to you and your family as you grow your angel wings." It's actually not as bad as some of the other things say at times like this. Still, it is pointing to (and maybe even assuming) things that are said like, "God needed another angel," or "God must need her."

Let's think this through a little. If you are saying that God needs this person then you are suggesting a couple of things. First of all you are suggesting that God is needy. God is God, so does God really need anything? Second you are suggesting that God needs this person more than the hurting person left on earth. While that's hard to believe, but if it is true that would make the person you are trying to comfort better than God. Now that is a bold statement. (I know that's not the intention of such statements, but I believe we need to think more about the implications of what we're saying. Especially in a culture that is becoming less and less biblically literate and more and more theologically mailable.)

I think it's dangerous territory when we start thinking, or making claims, that we are somehow, in some way, better than God.


Anonymous said...

I would agree with you! Better to say nothing sometimes. We speak better through out hugs, tears and hand holding.

david said...

Silence is often the best course. Simply being with someone and as the other commentor said, sharing a hug or some tears says more about love than any words we think we might need to say.