.............................So whilst I am on a religion kick here on the blog - a contentious issue I know - here is my own point of view and an example of my own personal asking of this question.
One question I am often asked when people realise I am a person of faith - especially a person of an organised religion - is the one above. And one can appreciate why they do ask it. Look at these things................
The Middle East
It is an easy question to ask............ and one I have asked myself during the last three months when I look at my mother - a person I consider a living saint. And I am not speaking as a Son - I speak as a man who has met thousands of people during my life and learned to recognise good and bad. My mother is not good........................... she is sacred.
My Ima (Hebrew for mother) - raised two children on welfare - other time working 3 jobs over 16 hour days - to make sure that her children had food - clothes on their back - and shoes on their feet. My brother lived with my Father whilst we were growing up so I only refer to myself and my older sister.
My mother earnt so little that we lived in a caravan park for 10 years whilst I was growing up. For Americans, a caravan park is a trailer park. My mother worked for the park. She cleaned the toilet and shower facilities - read the electricity meters - and cleaned the owners house and did his ironing. The death of her grandmother and a subsequent small inheritance allowed her to buy a larger caravan (trailer) for her and her children.
Eventually, she was able to land a full time permanent job as a cleaner for a hotel - which resulted in a larger wage - she also cleaned houses on her days off to bring in extra money.
My mother has lost 2 sisters - her mother to lung cancer only last year - and is now caring for her partner who has cancer in his brain, liver, lungs and kidneys. He is declining rapidly. She cared for her mother full time and now cares for her partner. She has clinical depression because of it.
She never asks for anything. She would give you the last shirt off her back. She even frequently stocks up her freezer with containers of home made soup and casserole for hubby and I - just coz she knows we love her cooking and is sorry that she can not come up here to cook for us.
She actually apologised that she could not come up here and visit because she is tending to her partner.
Can you believe that?
She is on a pension (retirement welfare) that is below the poverty line. My partner and I do what we can to help but are currently working out of our own financial issues and can not provide all that we wished we could.
My mother has never had money - never been wealthy - never been financially "flush" - and yet, she agonises when she is unable to provide a birthday present for me. I have told her a card and a hug from her is all I have ever wanted, but she still worries.
And now, not a year after her mothers death from cancer, she will lose someone else she loves to that dreadful horror.
Where is G-d for my mother?
I recently chastised him for his absence. As much as many of you do not believe - I do - and have felt his presence in his life. I look to my husband as proof of that. How else would I meet my soul-mate that would prove to be my reward for my years of loneliness and depression? He lived in America - I in Australia - and it was only through a series of remarkable coincidences that we met and continue to be with each other.
And yet - G-d seems absent from my mothers life.
So I will reprint here what I yelled at him not a month ago in my living room through tears as I had just got off the phone from mother who was again crying in despair.
I have asked little of you during my life. Nothing more than good health and happiness. For every time I asked one thing for myself - I asked 100 blessings for my mother - a woman that you can NOT deny is a living saint.
Where have you been Mr Omni-Present and Mr Omni-Potent Lord of Lords and Creator of the Universe for someone whose life has been toil, pain and depression?
How dare you allow her to bear such pain - even with the support and love of her children?
How dare you allow yourself to be called Good and Just and Merciful when a woman who embodies the qualities of Love, Kindness and Generosity cries herself to sleep more often than not?
I don't care that you can pat yourself on the back for the miracle that is Creation.
I don't care that I'm pissing you off. Do what you want with me - but her................ you should have given her every subconscious desire she ever had. Happiness.
All she ever wanted was enough money to pay the bills and retire so she could rest. And what did she get?
Poverty - pain - loss - at a level and frequency that I could not begin to foresee.
And yet - we see people everyday of questionable character bathing in grotesque wealth.
You couldn't let her share a little bit of it you fucking cunt???
Oh no - you made her work so hard that her fingers LITERALLY bled. Her feet ached to the point of being unable to walk. Her back constantly in pain - and yet you sit back and watch over your marvel that is Man.
You are a coward. And what makes it worse is I believe in you. I know you are there. I have felt your presence in my life. First as a very young boy - and many times later throughout my life.
And yet the ONE person who deserved just a LITTLE break - My Ima - you have denied her time and time again.
You bastard of a being. You are not just. You are a mockery of the belief and love that I have for you. And yet even now I can not just decide to refuse you. I know you are there.
You are a coward and a bastard.
...........................That is cleaned up a little bit - but that is mostly it.
And no - G-d did not answer me.
Where is G-d?
I don't know - all I know is that G-d is not with my Ima.