That is One Irresponsible Angel…

9-year-old Paje Wiklund was playing baseball when she was swallowed by a sink hole — an old cesspool — on her way to first base.

She would’ve fallen 16 to 20 more feet… but she happened to land on an old pipe. After that, her friends were able to rescue her.

How is the family responding?

… family members said they are grateful the pipe was there because they shudder to think how they would’ve rescued their child otherwise.

“She’s got an angel watching,” Karin Wiklund said.

And who caused the sink hole to be there in the first place, I wonder…?

I’m glad the girl is ok, and I’m not trying to make fun of the mother during this time of potential disaster.

But it’s an annoying habit to see. You get saved by good luck or good friends and the credit goes to the supernatural.

Why must people resort to nonsense like this? Isn’t it possible that good fortune and misfortune are just a part of life? You hope they balance out or the good fortune wins out over time… but no one’s watching over you making sure that happens.

Let’s just call it like it is.

(via The J-Walk Blog)

  • http://peacefulatheist.wordpress.com Lily

    Honestly, I think it’s just a cultural figure of speech that has become ingrained. Most people who thank their guardian angel after escaping death probably don’t really believe in an angel watching their every move. Of course, every time someone else thanks their guardian angel for saving their life, the habit is reinforced.
    If I were to narrowly escape death today, I would probably say “thank God!” without actually meaning anything. (If I was rescued by someone I would probably say “thank GOD you were here!”) I might even say “thank the LORD!” because it sounds more dramatic.

  • http://gimparoo.wordpress.com Scott

    The one that always strikes me is when someone is rescued by fireman or has their life saved by a doctor and they thank god instead of the fireman. I’d be upset if I were the fireman.

  • Richard Wade

    Child-like adults attribute narrow escapes like these to the supernatural because it is too scary for them to accept that they are living in a dangerous, random world. They want order and meaning in their universe, and a trusted captain at the helm. Never mind that the order and meaning is chaotic and incomprehensible, and that the captain seems to have missed the boat billions of years ago; they still have to have their reassuring fantasy of somebody watching over them.

    That fantasy is both the cause and the effect of their immaturity. They remain child-like because they cling to it, and they cling to it because they remain child-like.

    There are very few grown-ups in the world.

  • http://noadi.blogspot.com Noadi

    One of my cousin’s recently was in a bad snowmobile accident where he was stranded alone and injured in the woods all night with coyotes circling him. He wasn’t found until morning when some kids one their way to wait for the school bus heard him yelling. The mother of the kids was interviewed by a local paper saying it was a miracle and that God must have been looking out for him.

    I couldn’t help laughing at that, It was sheer luck and the fact he was wearing a helmet that he survived after he hit a tree at 40mph. If God was looking out for him you think he’d have brought help a little faster than 6 hours later.

  • dhoffman

    It kind of annoys me too, for a different reason. I believe God’s providence covers everything – sinkhole, no sinkhole, pipe or no pipe, close calls, near misses, and everything. It is entirely appropriate to thank God that the girl lived, but not to act as though the event caught Him off guard in any shape or form.

  • Richard Wade

    dhoffman,
    I want to ask you very respectfully, sincerely wanting to understand something.

    You said that because God’s providence covers everything, hole, no hole, pipe, no pipe, and because He provided the sink hole and also provided the pipe, then when the girl fell in but did not fall far it is appropriate for her family to thank God that the girl lived.

    If however God’s providence had provided the sink hole but had provided that there would be no pipe, and the girl had fallen twenty feet to the bottom, broken both legs and died in pain and fear, drowning in stinking muck, would it be appropriate for her family to thank God for those provisions instead?

    If God’s doing it all, when an event grabs our attention like our daughter falling into a hole, is it appropriate to approve of and be grateful for one outcome that we prefer, but to have some other kind of reaction to an outcome that we do not prefer?

    Again, dhoffman, I am asking earnestly, not to upset or challenge you in a hostile way, only to understand your viewpoint.

  • Eliza

    Definition of “miracle” (modern usage):

    Event which didn’t turn out as badly as it could have

  • dhoffman

    Richard,
    Good good question.
    I guess I’d have to answer it with Job. If you are unfamiliar with it, read the first 2 chapters.
    The Bible does say it Romans that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”. Now, that applies to those who love God and are called according to His purpose, and for those people thanking God even for disaster is appropriate.

    But, for those who are not lovers of God there is certainly no promise of things working for good, and for them disasters should serve as a wake-up call. I don’t know what position this girl’s family is in.

  • http://www.deadgeekcircus.com/lasers/ Zwuh

    for any given Event

    if Event = Awesome
    print “God did it”
    run Praise.exe
    if Event = Bad
    print “It’s a miracle”
    run Praise.exe
    if Event = Worst
    print “This was a test”
    run Praise.exe

  • GullWatcher

    But, for those who are not lovers of God there is certainly no promise of things working for good

    Conditional love is just so very special.

  • Claudia

    Yeah that always gets to me. I remember when the huge tsunami hit Indonesia, they found a little boy who had drifted onto the top of a tree and had managed to get above the water and survive. I remember seeing a lot about how “miraculous” that was.

    It´s not so much that it gets to me when one child surviving something that kills, say, another 200 children is bad. It’s that the same people who thank their god for saving that one child don’t turn around and curse and scream at that same god for refusing to save all the other children. You can’t have it both ways. If god is responsible for saving your baby, then he also made a conscious decision to let your baby die if he or she does.

    It’s one of the reasons that I know that even if I believed in an all powerful god, I could never worship him, simply for the patent and clear indifference to the suffering of innocents.


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