Sunday, December 09, 2007

What do you say??

This post will probably ramble because I am ill and an emotional mess at the moment. It is traumatic here in the Hackman household tonight.

We have two cats. The one, Duke, has started peeing on various things throughout the house. Last night he peed on a comforter and my wife and I vocalized in front of the children that we may need to get rid of him. Big mistake. They cried and pleaded, pleaded and cried.

I have no desire to get rid of the cat, but he has cost us hundreds of dollars this week. I am a school teacher on a tight budget, and it is really hitting us. Not to mention, we cant live in a house that smells of cat pee.

Tonight Duke peed on the couch. My daughter started sobbing. "Are we going to have to get rid of Duke?" I couldn't respond. She fell into my lap shaking and sobbing (she is 9). The whole family started to cry.

But what she said next through her tears brought down my world.

"Daddy... I don't understand [sob] I prayed so hard last night. I prayed [sob] and prayed [sob] that Duke would stop doing that.... What's wrong?" She could hardly get the words out.

I had no answer for her. Nothing.

I know there are bigger problems in the world. I know there are parents who watched their child die this evening, while they begged and pleaded with God to no avail. Countless prayers for relief from suffering go unheeded worldwide.

But when your daughter is in your lap weeping and brokenhearted and looking to you for an answer, it is hard to put anything into perspective.

I can hear her crying herself to sleep as I type this.

As much as she has church and sunday school and friends, the truth is that most of what she knows of God right now is transfered through me. Am I responsible for setting her up with false hopes? Is she praying desperately (right now) to a God who has no intention, or ability, to answer her prayer?

As as Father, I just want her pain to go away.


Mike said...

There's a difference between dogs and cats, but when my girls were young I caved in to their desire for an indoor dog. The doggone dog peed everywhere. Even the girls could see there was a big problem, but of course they were in love with the animal.

ANIMAL, that was the key.

We explained to them that God made animals to live outside. The old doggie is still with us today and everybody is happy.

Yael said...

My kids have learned a different view of all of this. God isn't a vending machine that gives us what we want if we put in our money and push the right buttons. My kids don't even think about asking God for things they want because that's not at all what Jewish prayer is about.

A woman I work with me told me once that she wanted her kids to go to church so that they will learn that when people let them down God is there. I told her I have the opposite view. I want my kids to go to synagogue so that they learn when God let's them down, their community is there for them.

My oldest son told me he's glad because he sees God as mostly disappointing people. Then our conversation went on to is God disappointing people, are our expectations out of line, or is it really people dropping the ball when they are to be taking care of this world? But, I guess that's a bit advanced for someone the age of your daughter.

Something as simple as this shows how very different our views are. My kids would be figuring out how to solve the problem. Your kid asks God to make it go away. I feel for you. Puts you in a tough spot because now she knows....

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