Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Pain of Death Testifies of the Existence of God Part III

There are certainly differ ways for people to mourn, some more emotionally healthy than others. Of course I can not tell a person what is the best way for them. I do have a hunch that the Mediterranean/Arab cultures do it best and us northern European and Asian descents the worst.

I had the unfortunate experience of witnessing a few accidental deaths in my time in Cairo. One morning I was riding my mini bus on my ninety minute commute to Arabic school. The streets were always extremely chaotic and crowed. In between the old broken down buses were a river of cars, donkey carts, camels and thousands of pedestrians. To my right I happened to catch a tragic event. A man stood on the side walk holding the hand of his, about 7 year-old, son (one would assume it was his son) who was wearing the typical gray school uniform. You could see the dusty red school bus approaching quickly. Just before the bus pulled up beside them, and for reasons I can’t understand, the boy stepped into the street. Immediately the huge front tire ran right over him. There was no hope of survival as the boy was squashed flat beneath the tire. It was a scene seared into my mind forever.

To my surprise, the father didn’t run to the boy’s entangled body, but instead, began running down the street. He was screaming. He was pulling his hair out by the handfuls and he ripped his shirt entirely off and fell face down on the dirty sidewalk while he pounded himself in the face. It was an intense out-pouring of emotion with no reservations.

I find it perplexing to see how the Arab’s vent their emotions without hesitation. The reason it seems strange is their philosophical orientation. They are extremely fatalistic. Everything is done by God’s willing hand. Different from evangelicals, they don’t see God delivering a tragedy to teach them patience . . . but always in judgment. They have an omnipotent God, not a benevolent one. But despite that, they show their grief on their sleeves. I’m not sure if I understand how that works out. I do think that in Christian countries, we have learned to suppress our emotions because we want to appear spiritual.

With that said, I wanted to move on to my last point and that is the how the pain of death, in my opinion, testifies of God’s presence. I realize once more I’ve run out of time and attention span (mine and yours) and I will have to finish this up next time.

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