Loss of faith due to loss of loved one.
by Jay Henderson
(Newark, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom)
First of all, I wanted to find a pastor forum to ask this because I thought 'surely, it's something most, if not all pastors come across!?'
I've asked other Christians about this but they didn't seem to understand the complexities of this issue.
I ask because I've come across this a lot, My home town is a mainly atheist area but with very strong traditional christian roots so it is common to see people who have lost their faith at some point and this is a very common reason.
Me and one of the older ladies at work started a friendly conversation about religion. She said that she used to go to church regularly but then her 2 year old son sadly passed away. She went to church the following Sunday and the pastor 'Stood up there and told us all how great and wonderful God was' She couldn't believe a word of it, how could this God take away an innocent child? She became angry and walked away out, she hasn't believed in God since.
I didn't really know what to say, I thought there must be something to say but I couldn't get it off the tip of my tong, I felt a little backed into a corner all of a sudden, I didn't expect such a thing to come up out of no where. I was sad to see such pain, anger and disbelief in God. I understand pain and how it can lead to anger, I used to be angry too only I know now that, no matter the suffering, the seemly needless suffering, that it is passing, that God is not. This life is cruel to the extremes but it is not forever and it is a test.
There are lots of debates on how much God allows sin to exist in this life and what it's cause is but ultimately I don't believe, for the now, that it matters, I trust in God and doing God's work and I believe all evil will be over come through them.
I know all this but how do I tell her, or is trying to tell her the wrong thing to do? Is there a better thing to do?
My main thing, that no one else seemed to understand, is can I explain it in a way that her pastor failed to do? How do I not sound delusional and out of touch? How do I not repeat the very mistake he made in trying to help her but only ended up scaring her away in the first place?
Have any of you dealt with this before.