Thursday, October 8, 2009
Do not be anxious about anything.
It wasn't quite a stigmata, but there was definitely blood. Doug and Johanna and Simeon and I were driving through Toronto with our car backed on our way to an MCC event called "In all that we share," a weekend camping event on a reserve 7 hours North of Toronto. Before we left we had one errand to run--take back the bag that someone left in our car the night before. Doug went into the women's apartment and came back 5 minutes later with a stricken look and blood on his palm--he had just been poked by a needle. The women who owned the bag worked in the sex trade. Doug knew that she was HIV positive and thought that she might also have Hepatitis C. We rushed to the hospital. We didn't know much about these matters, but I thought that there was some sort of prophylactic medicine that was given in these instances. There was and an hour later completely stunned Doug has a good prognosis and a bag filled with AZT and other similar drugs that he was to take for the next 6 months.
Seven weeks later Doug was due for a blood test. I didn't sleep for the entire week. Even though the statistical probability for contracting HIV was astonishingly low and Hepatitis C very low, I was deeply troubled. It was at this time I began to realize how very far I had come from a sustaining faith. The trouble was not that I ever stopped believing in God, or believing in God's desire for justice for the world, or even believing that God loves me---but I suddenly realized how impossible it had become to believe that God really desired my happiness. There was a lot of suffering in this world and over the last several years I have seen more and more of it... It was just very difficult for me to accept the fact that God's purposes for my life might include suffering. That is not what I wanted.
I am still struggling with this matter. Doug ended up being okay. However, the memory of those dark nights are not gone and I have yet gotten anywhere near the point of a non-anxious faith.