Now that I’ve gone through my deconstruction, there are a lot of annoying things that people say. I heard one of them today at my rehab for my stroke. It may have been hightened by the fact that I am recovering from a stroke but it really rubbed me the wrong way.
During the stroke recovery group, someone said,”Well, you know it’s a test and if we do well then it’s a testimony. later.”. Several members of the choir joined in and before we knew it, our stroke group and turned intoa bad church service.
There are several things that bother me about this.
1. What kind of God would give his child a stroke as a test?
I thought about this for a minute while they were talking and I couldn’t imagine putting this kind of “test” on any one of my children. Going through a stroke recovery is very trying and it does test our resolve and our ability to keep going, but that doesn’t mean that a being inflicted this on us and is waiting to see how we do.
The person who initiated the comment was very clear that “someone” was behind it and was watching. So the assumption is that there’s a reason that someone initiated it and they are watching to see how we do. It’s all part of the shame and guilt that comes along with Christianity
.2. What are the requirements of the test?
Is the test to see that i will keep a good attitude and keep mentioning God a lot while we’re going through this test? Or is it that we will heal to a certain degree? And do we have to be totally healed or just partially healed to pass the test? If I get frustrated or angry or sad during my recovery, does that cause me to fail the test?
If it is really a test, what are the parameters of the test and why didn’t somebody explain it to me very well before the test began?
3. What happens if I fail the test?
This happens a lot in Christianity. When someone doesn’t get well after they’ve been prayed for, it’s assumed that they don’t didn’t have enough faith or there was some sin in their life. No matter what, the invisible parameters are around this ” test” there is usually shame distributed in one way or another.
There have been times throughout my stroke recovery that I’ve generally felt sad and I didn’t feel like I was making any progress. At those times. It wouldn’t have helped for someone to frame this as a test. At those times, it was best for me just to feel sad or feel that frustration so that I could deal with it and move forward.
I’m sure there were people in the room today that didn’t feel like they were passing the test. I felt for those people because it was such peer pressure to join in with the choir, but no one else spoke up. When I said that’s b******* in the back of the room, a couple of people nodded their heads along with me.
I would probably be more likely to hang out with Christians more if they didn’t say stuff like this. It’s just another way to bypass what we are feeling. How about we just admit that it’s hard, because it is. Not trying to pass some test with invisible parameters, we are just doing the best we can to get through a difficult situation.
We can be there for each other and provide comfort for one another without making things up about what God is doing. It’s not a test–it just is what it is. Being present and authentic is better than trying to imagine what God is doing or why it happened.
Contribute to the fundraiser for Karl and Laura as they recover from the stroke.
Be where you are, Be who you are,