Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Is Religion a Crutch? (by Helen Migon)



My friend Helen sent me this post last week, and I am honored that she would ask me to post it here on my blog. Thank you, Helen.

From the movie Unstrung Heroes

Sid Lidz: Religion is a crutch. Only cripples need crutches.

Arthur Lidz: A crutch isn't bad if you need it, Sidney.

Danny Lidz: All of us are cripples in some way.

Sid Lidz: Well, I'm not.

I cried like a child at that point in the movie. I cried because I knew that I do need to lean on God. I cried for all of humanity, who without God, is worse off than lame. I cried for the fictional character Sid Lidz, who is as needy as any other character in that movie, but fails to recognize it. He thinks he is the strong one, but he is zapping the strength from those around them who need God, and know it. He thinks he is the strong one, but he is actually the most pathetic character in the whole movie. I felt sadder for him than anyone else.

This weekend, I went to a wake for the mom of a friend of a friend. I have never met this woman before, but know of her through my friend Irma. My friend Irma has been concerned about her friend, Samantha , for quite a while. She and Samantha work together. She likes Samantha, because Samantha is a nice person, but is concerned about her, because Samantha is does not believe in God. Her excuse seems to be hypocritical Christians. I don't know the details, so I am unprepared to say whether she is overreacting, or if if her experience was so horrible I'd like to feed a few lions myself. My heart just breaks though, that her reason for not leaning on God is that some people suck.

Anyways, I met her for the first time at her mom's wake. I wasn't there to witness to her or anything like that. I just thought that since I had gone through the loss of my own mom a short time ago, and still have issues of my own I am praying through (and have people praying for me as well, thank you very much if you are among them), I'd be of some use. I don't know how to explain... I find sometimes that looking into someone's eyes, and seeing that they too feel similar pain helps me feel at one with them. I feel more understood, and therefore comforted. I went there to offer that to her.

Now, I need to tell you before I go on, that I really do love my Momma. Not a day goes by that I don't miss her. Every day some small thing reminds me of her, and I get all choked up because I miss her, and end up calling someone or emailing them to try to feel better, and not spend another day wallowing in grief. So it surprised me deeply to look into Samantha's eyes, and see a pain deeper than my own. Surely she couldn't have loved her Momma more than I did mine. How is that even possible?

We talked a bit. I eavesdropped as I listened to people comfort her. Not one person spoke of hope. At my Momma's wake, nearly everyone reminded me of mom's love for God and others, and assured me that my family is one by one reuniting in Heaven, and praising Jesus that we will be together once more, but this time without heartache for all eternity.

People shared fond memories of her mom with Samantha, but I know myself that right now, fond memories bring an ache rather than soothe. There will never be another thing to remember on this Earth. I failed at neatly putting away every instant with her away in my mind as a treasure. One day I will find that isn't so. I know this from the experience of losing my Dad. Wait. I don't really mean "losing" him, but being separated from him by the chasm of death.

Samantha, on the other hand, has "lost" her mom. Or at least Samantha believes she has. I do not know if Samantha's mom was a Christian or not. I do know that Samantha believes that all she has of her mom is in the past. Samantha had mentioned to me that she regrets being with her mom at the last. It was so hard. It gives her painful memories, when memories are all she has of her mom now.

I on the other hand, have regretted not being there when my Momma died suddenly and unexpectedly. I am slowly letting that go. Through prayer, I am slowly coming to believe that God took her when she was ready to go. Would she have been so ready and willing with my tear stained face at her side?

In my own pain and regrets, I have God to lean on. I am thankful for that. I am thankful that Momma and I share a Savior, Jesus Christ. I am not ashamed to lean on His cross. I am not ashamed to be a "cripple". I have always needed God, and I always will. And yes, I believe that is true for everyone. My heart breaks for those who drag themselves along instead of recognizing their need and leaning on Him. It is only by leaning on Him that we can stand at all.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

***

To read more from Helen Migon, visit her at Random Musings and follow her on the twitter at @HelenatRandom.

13 comments:

Sarah Salter said...

"It is only by leaning on Him that we can stand at all." -- I love this Helen! All that you said was so true! Thank you for sharing!

♥ Kathy said...

That was so beautiful! I ♥ Helen

Billy Coffey said...

Wow, Helen. That was just...wow. And I'll be the first to admit I'm a cripple.

JML said...

Helen, thank you for sharing that. It's unfortunate that people can drive each other away from God. It seems that we ALL suck and need that crutch, so we can't help but be hypocritical and make mistakes. Wonderful post, friend!

Sandra Heska King said...

"Not one person spoke of hope."

I'm clinging to my crutch of hope.

Bridget Chumbley said...

Hope is key in times of loss... what emptiness and despair we'd feel without it!
This was beautiful, Helen. Thank you.

jasonS said...

You made me feel it, Helen. Glad I have hope and I want others to know it too.

Reminds me of a statement I've heard at different times, God isn't my crutch--He's my whole hospital.

Wonderful post.

Megan Willome said...

I loved the line, "There will never be another thing to remember on this Earth." I'm seeing that, since my Mom died two weeks ago. Her funeral was so hopeful I could hardly breathe.

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Helen ... Amazing.

I don't know what else to say? I've got a lot of stuff swirling around in my head and heart after reading this. It's beautiful and tragic -- all at once.

Thank you, thank you for taking us to deep places. Your writing pierced this soul.

Helen said...

Katdish, thank you for your generosity in posting his for me.

Everyone, thank your for your kindness and encouragement.

Helen said...

Megan, I'm sorry about your mom. My mom died six weeks ago. Still sad, but leaning on God and the people He put around me to encourage me and hold me up.

Stacey said...

Gorgeous post, Helen. Reading this makes me all the more grateful for the hope we have in Christ. Thanks for sharing your heart, and for being there to use your experiences to minister to others.

ogar said...

If you liked the movie Unstrung Heroes, you should read the memoir on which it's based. It's even more poignant and inspiring:

http://www.amazon.com/Unstrung-Heroes-Improbable-Impossible-Uncles/dp/0451185285/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269366509&sr=1-1