There is a song that has been replaying in my head today...
Joan Osborne's "One of Us"
Here are some of the lyrics:
If god had a name, what would it be?
And would you call it to his face
if you were faced with Him in all His glory?
What would you ask if you had just one question?
And yeah, yeah, God is great.
Yeah, yeah, God is good.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
What if god was one of us,
just a slob like one of us,
just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home?
There is something about this song that makes me cry. I am not a particularly religious person. But there is a part of me that wants to ask things like "why"?
My son Max who has autism probably has the strongest God connection I have seen. He is most comfortable in churches of any denomination. For years now he demands to visit at least several of them over the weekend. He has been in Catholic churches, Methodist churches, Baptist churches, Lutheran churches, and even synagogues. He has been to churches where the congregation was mostly hispanic, korean, or African American. These differences don't matter to him at all. And no matter where he demands to go, the people welcome him as their own. Then when he returns home he draws the churches, the pews, and the parishioners. He will sometimes add extras like angels in the pews.
Unlike me, my son does not ask "why?" It isn't even a word in his limited vocabulary.
He just feels it. Accepts it. There simply is no "why" for him.
My Max has a second diagnosis now in addition to his autism, epilepsy. He has had to go through a bunch of tests and be put on medication which has side effects. When I witnessed his seizures after all that he has been through already...I am the one asking, "why?" When you hold your baby in your arms you never think about this stuff...about autism or epilepsy or any of the other unimaginable things that a child may have to endure. You just feel love.
My son doesn't think about his autism. He doesn't perceive these things he has to go through as suffering.
It is me who is the weak one...the one who suffers and asks that damn question, "why?"
And so my question for you comes from the song lyrics:
What would you ask God if you had just one question?
Our other writers have also been exploring the spiritual when it comes to mental or medical illness. Here are just some to get you started:
Depression and Religion: How Major Religions View Mental Disorders
Using Spirituality, Religion, to Cope with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Can Religion Be a Comfort For People with Dementia?
Meditation, Religion Can be a Major Comfort for Chronic Pain
- Schizophrenia and Faith: A Positive Connection?
Question of the Week: Faith and Healing
- Buddhism: A Practical Psychology
- Depression and Religion: How Major Religions View Mental Disorders
Published On: February 08, 2012