An Excerpt from “Why Do You Hurt Me God?”

Note: The following section is an excerpt from my book Why Do You Hurt Me God?

Stacy’s attack stunned me. “I am so #!$% angry at God! Tell me David, where the #@%& was this so-called good and great God when my baby boy needed him the most? I used to believe in this God. But now…” Her voice was muffled by loud sobs.

Our grief retreat had ended, and as I was walking to our car, she had followed me without saying a word. For a brief moment, it looked as if she was stalking me. And that’s when the verbal barrage hit.

I of course didn’t know how to answer her question, and had had similar questions thrown at me countless times, actually thousands of times. At the time of Stacy’s outburst, we had completed over 70 grief recovery retreats, where those type questions are common. Stacy was asking with as much intensity as any I had heard.

All that I knew to do was to acknowledge her feelings, and not condemn her for having them.

Her baby boy was 13, and a month before had died by suicide, about a week after his best friend, also 13, had done the same thing. Now you know why she was so angry. And you do not condemn her either, for you know enough of her story. And there is always pain underneath anger.

Why Do You Hurt Me God? by David Mathews

I wrote the book because I had to. I was compelled to.

I have personally heard that question, in various ways, thousands of times over the last 40+ years of working with people and their pain. Since we began Spark of Life in 2009, the questions have multiplied. They have been slung at us from sweet grandparent-type people, crusted oil field workers, military heroes, the rich and the poor, ministers, Christians, Jews, atheists, agnostics, used-to-be-believers, used-to-be atheists and skeptics, missionaries, Democrats, Republicans, young, old, etc. etc. etc. There is no monopoly of any group owning this question.

In the book, I inserted #$!&* for two words Stacy said, just because my editor and I thought it was best to do that. Actually, the original quote had many more words I did not include. These are listed in alphabetical order below (some of you looked, didn’t you?). Just kidding.

But I agreed to do that because I don’t want anyone putting the book down because of that. I believe it is too important. Not because I am such a great writer (I am not). But because God, I believe, has received a really bum rap, getting either too much blame for all the spit of the world (notice I wrote spit) or not enough “blame.” You must read the book to understand why God does not get enough “blame” at times.

This book does not have all the answers for all the questions concerning why there is so much pain and suffering in the world. No book can. But it does offer some answers that perhaps can help some who read it either (1) not give up on God, (2) have a richer view of God, or (3) helps them reconsider God from a fresh viewpoint, that helps make some sense of the nonsense.

As I state elsewhere in the book:

Without question, and I believe without debate, every thinking person has to admit that no mere human … can understand all of life’s mysteries. Regardless of where your belief system is on the scale of atheism, agnosticism, or theism, there are unanswered questions. If we reject God because we have unanswered questions, then we, too, must reject atheism on the same basis. And do not assume that agnosticism avoids all unanswered questions and is the answer we all long for. In fact, true agnosticism cannot even be sure its own premise is true. Thus, a true agnostic could not claim to know that agnosticism is true. More unanswered questions.

I pray that this book presents the true God, who never stops loving. This book is imperfect, because the author is imperfect and flawed. Why do you hurt me, God? is a good question. The answer, I believe, is . . .

Why Do You Hurt Me God? by David Mathews

My prayer is that you will read it and give a few copies to some friends who you think might be encouraged by it.

To order Why Do You Hurt Me God? Click Here.

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