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#159011 - 05/30/07 03:22 AM Where does it go?
Still Offline
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Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6367
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
I like a song from Gordon Lightfoot - The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald. There's a line in it: "Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours."

I think of a re-write in my own mind: "Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the pain turns the minutes to hours."

There was a kid in the 60s and 70s that use to wonder that...a lot.


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#159019 - 05/30/07 07:14 AM Re: Where does it go? [Re: Still]
roadrunner Offline
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Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Rob,

I used to wonder about that a lot. I was raised in a religious family and Christianity was a big part of how we lived - it wasn't just a thing we did on Sundays. So when the abuser stepped into my life it was traumatic in all sorts of ways, including spiritually. He was a deacon in our church and used his position to intimidate me. He also knew church activities would be the place to find me; all he had to do was volunteer to "help with the boys". I remember looking at this (for 10-year-old me) huge picture at the entrance to the Sunday School section of the church; it showed Jesus with happy safe kids around him, and I thought, "Why not me?" I thought if even God had abandoned me to abuse I must really be bad, even if I couldn't figure out in what ways.

This is just my opinion, Rob, but I think we are spinning our wheels if we keep asking the "why" questions. Can there ever be a satisfying answer? I mean, can you imagine any answer that would make you say, "Oh okay, I get it now", and just walk away content?

One thing that changed things a lot for me was reading a book entitled When Bad Things Happen to Good People. It's by a rabbi who lost his 14-year-old son to a slow wasting disease, but although he's Jewish, his perspective is pretty universal and it helped me a lot. I would suggest you have a look at this book.

Reading a book hasn't fixed things for me, though, and I still consider myself an utterly broken man spiritually. But I haven't given up and neither should you. One thing I do know now is that I needed to adjust my thinking to aim at a different goal. In this area, Rob, what we can hope for is not answers, but peace.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#159046 - 05/30/07 09:41 AM Re: Where does it go? [Re: roadrunner]
EGL Offline
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Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi Rob,

I think the important thing to remember is that God didn't plan for or want any of that pain to be in your life. He didn't want you to be abused, and He didn't want you to spend a lifetime of pain from it. I reconciled myself with God when I was 23 in that I knew that I needed Him so much more than I realized. I believe that one way that God wants us to use that pain from the past is to reach out and help others who are hurting with the same kind of pain. I've seen you do that so many times here to others and myself.

You asked where the love of God goes when the pain turns from minutes to hours. I believe that love of God goes through you to others as you reach out to them. You're showing that love all the time.

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#159210 - 05/31/07 08:15 AM Re: Where does it go? [Re: EGL]
pietie Offline
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Registered: 01/23/07
Posts: 326
Loc: South Africa
Originally Posted By: EGL
You asked where the love of God goes when the pain turns from minutes to hours. I believe that love of God goes through you to others as you reach out to them. You're showing that love all the time.


Couldnt say it better. Gave me a new perspective. Thanx

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#159224 - 05/31/07 11:12 AM Re: Where does it go? [Re: roadrunner]
Still Offline
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Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6367
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Originally Posted By: roadrunner
...I think we are spinning our wheels if we keep asking the "why" questions. Can there ever be a satisfying answer? I mean, can you imagine any answer that would make you say, "Oh okay, I get it now", and just walk away content?


I agree with the premise Larry...but I think its a step I have to go through. I feel compelled to go through the "whys" anyway.

I also feel compelled to get that book: When Bad Things Happen to Good People. The Jewish perspective on strife and pain is usually SO dead-on with truth. Thank you for the ref.

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#159583 - 06/03/07 06:22 AM Re: Where does it go? [Re: Still]
roadrunner Offline
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Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Rob,

Originally Posted By: Robbie Brown
I agree with the premise Larry...but I think its a step I have to go through. I feel compelled to go through the "whys" anyway.


Yes, I think we all do that. The child within us needs answers to his questions and the "why" questions are typical of how a child thinks. So the process of us asking these same questions as adults, and then turning away from them, is somehow a process in which we at least address the needs of this child, if only to take his hand and finally walk with him away from these questions.

I'm glad you are interested in the book. Here's the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/When-Things-Happen...80865947&sr=1-1

It isn't a "Jewish" book as such. Kushner basically writes as a religious man talking to other people whose faith has been challenged by personal disaster. It's a wonderful book - very honest.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#162523 - 06/20/07 07:46 PM Re: Where does it go? *DELETED* [Re: roadrunner]
ttoon Offline
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#162536 - 06/20/07 09:22 PM Re: Where does it go? [Re: ttoon]
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
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was it ever there at all?

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#162537 - 06/20/07 09:48 PM Re: Where does it go? [Re: shadowkid]
knot4sail16 Offline
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Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 44
Loc: Southeastern U.S.
wow, ttoon.

You raise a great challenge. your statement: "If a parent looks away for nine years it is called neglect here...if God does...it seems to be for the greater good. :-)" really gets at the heart of the question.

A lot of it gets back to the question of the coexistence of evil alongside a good God.

I think the dominant view that most monotheism have been offering for the past few hundred years that the traditional theist God has all these "omni qualities" (all powerful, ever present, all knowing, completely good) just doesn't cut it in the face of personal experiences with evil.

Emmanuel Levinas (a philosopher) suggests that explanations to try to reconcile this kind of God with evil can't stand up to big things like the holocaust or individual things like csa.

It's terrible to think that God puts people through this for some greater good. That solution doesn't satisfy.

My own experience tells me that God has been a part of my recovery, and while I don't trust the Christian church in general because of a lot of spiritual abuse, I do think God is somewhere in all this.

Where? great question. I still cuss at God when I pray. And I think God's okay with that.

There is some interesting theology known as "Open Theism" that offers the idea that God is concerned with relationship with us, and rather than being a distant fixed entity, God is pained when we are pained, and that God is dynamic, not static.

If this view is true, perhaps God, while powerful enough to stop evil, may be more concerned with knowing us than controlling us, and so my response to evil, (going back to Levinas now) has less to do with trying to figure out why God let things happen or trying to defend God, which I can't do, and it has more to do with my ethical response.

I also believe that God chooses to leave a lot up to humans, and that involves us doing good and evil. My faith is centered around the idea that God chose to identify with us through Christ, and now we are supposed to identify with the compassion of God and act to bring about healing and justice when we see others hurting all around us.

The point? : I can't explain why God let the pain happen. But I think that I can let God help me take ownership of the pain and allow it to help me become empathic toward others, and that now my pain can be rearranged into something that can move me toward action that prevents others from experiencing what I have been through, and helping those who have to find growth toward their own healing.

Wow, sorry that got really long.

Peace

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#162549 - 06/21/07 01:11 AM Re: Where does it go? [Re: knot4sail16]
theatrekid Offline
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Loc: oregon
im not trying to offend any one but i have a very different persepctive here when it comes to religion. i consider myself an atheist. it drives me nuts to tell people this because they say o you just lost faith some were. thats not true. i belive that man is acountable for his actions i find my self asking why this could happen to me and so many others all the time. but asking god why this happend dosnt make since to me. if there is a god an almighty creator how could he let somthing so evil happen? what i would like to know though is why my parents aloud me to be put in the situation for the abuse to happen. how every one around me pretended like it didnt happen although they all knew about it. and most importantley how could some one be sick enough to hurt another person this way. i understand the benefits of spirtuality i meditate which i think is the same as praying just a different name. but i dont understand why people search through the bible for answers. in my eyes the bible is an ancient book written to controll people. people talk of the love and compassion in the bible. i dont see that i see the thousands of years of war that religion has caused. i see how people in churches abuse there power to take advantage of people. i see the ten comandments which are suposed to use as a guide to set our principles why dont they speak of keeping children safe? or of equality for every one? the answer to that is easy because the men who wrote the bible didnt belive these things to be important they thought that women were second class citizens and the children were property. i guess not to sound like an ass or anything because i belive we are all intitled to our beliefs but i think if instead of us looking to god for answers if we looked to our selves and the people around us we all be much better off. any ways thats just the way i look at it sorry its so long.


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#162565 - 06/21/07 07:50 AM Re: Where does it go? *DELETED* [Re: theatrekid]
ttoon Offline
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#162573 - 06/21/07 08:25 AM Re: Where does it go? [Re: ttoon]
knot4sail16 Offline
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Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 44
Loc: Southeastern U.S.
tk,
I really appreciate your response. Just because I do believe in God doesn't mean I think I have everything figured out. In fact, some of the questions you raise and the problems you have with the Bible are the same ones I raise all the time. You're right that a lot of the stuff that men wrote in the Bible doesn't support the kind of God that I was talking about, and frankly, most evangelical Christians would call me a heretic for how I view the Bible.

Back to the original question of where does the love of God go when the pain turns the minutes to hours?

Whether we hold to a faith in God or not, we have the opportunity like ttoon says, to turn to one another to find healing in community. I think we all participate not as independent agents, or as codependent victims, but in a healthy level of interdependency where we extend and receive the love that can restore us by living honestly and openly with those around us.

I happen to view this as our way of participating in and bringing about the love of God that was missing when we were all in our darkest hour. WE all have the opportunity to enter into one another's pain and help each other to find the courage to embrace our life now.

I think our different views present a tension that can hold us together and help us all gain clarity, rather than pushing us apart. That's the beautiful thing about a community that is committed to the safety and development of the members and not just being doggedly committed to some specific interpretation or ideology of how to think.

you guys challenge me deeply. Thanks.

Peace

_________________________
letting the broken pieces be shaped into something new and beautiful is the greatest joy and struggle of this journey

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#162574 - 06/21/07 08:30 AM Re: Where does it go? [Re: knot4sail16]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
i've been watching and reading - i have one small comment i'd like to add - my own 2 cents, such as they are

as for where the love of God goes during those times ... i believe it goes into the hearts of His people. unfortunately, being human flesh we have the tendancy to fail.

that said - i thank all of you for your openness to the original question. the discussion here has helped me with issues of my own.

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the story
    https://1in6.org/men/bristlecone/mark-krueger/

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#164425 - 07/02/07 06:57 AM Re: Where does it go? [Re: MarkK]
Mark Antony Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Michigan
ttoon

I think we have different ideas about free will. You stated that the idea of free will fails miserably. Then you state that God is more interested in knowing us than controling us. That is exactly why he gave us free will. So he would not control us. We can chose who we become and what we do and belive. The idea of free will releases us from control by God. He tells us how he would like us to act and what he wants from us. Then he gives us free will so we can decide if that is what we are going to do. That includes having a relationship with him.

Mark


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#164429 - 07/02/07 07:57 AM Re: Where does it go? [Re: Mark Antony]
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
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the freewill explanation kinda makes god useless i think,an 11 year old does not have freewill.



Edited by shadowkid (07/02/07 08:02 AM)
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#164486 - 07/02/07 03:52 PM Re: Where does it go? [Re: shadowkid]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: shadowkid
an 11 year old does not have freewill.


I tend to think the opposite - which is what makes SA so cruel. An 11 year-old's will is ignored, actions are done outside and against his free will.

Maybe it's just semantics and how we define "free will"... And maybe it's just the effects of my past speaking up again...

At any rate - have to agree with Dave - WAY too much protection for the powers and none for the powerless.


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#164951 - 07/05/07 05:38 PM Re: Where does it go? [Re: shadowkid]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
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Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Shadow,

Originally Posted By: shadowkid
an 11 year old does not have freewill.


Or we could put it this way: An 11-year-old doesn't know his options, rights, or potential. And if he doesn't know about these things, in what meaningful sense can we say he really has them?

It's like saying, "Oh, why didn't you walk clear of the fire through the secret door?", to someone who didn't know there even existed a secret door.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#165175 - 07/06/07 09:48 PM Re: Where does it go? [Re: roadrunner]
Dewey2k Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
I like your analogy, Larry. It makes a lot of sense to me.


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#165189 - 07/07/07 12:25 AM Re: Where does it go? [Re: Dewey2k]
WalkingSouth Offline
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Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
I agree. Excellent de>
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