In this chapter Nadia writes about her experience as a hospital chaplain

During her first experience in a trauma room she asked a nurse what her job was, and the response was "Your job is to be aware of God's presence in the room while we do our jobs." (Page 80)

"It wasn't long before I found myself sensing God's presence in other rooms, too." (Page 81)

"I was the chaplain, but I didn't have answers for anyone." (Page 82)

She writes about her emotions of dealing with two young boys who just lost their mother. "You hear a lot of nonsense in hospitals and funeral homes. .. But this is the nonsense spawned from bad religion. And usually when you are grieving and someone says something so senselessly optimistic to you, it's about them" (Page 83)

She writes about reading Marcus Borg's "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time." "This was the bonus to liberal Christianity: I could use my reason and believe at the same time. But it only worked for me for a short while. And soon I wanted to experiment with the harder stuff. Admiring Jesus, while a noble pursuit, doesn't show me where God is to be found when we suffer the death of a loved one or a terrifying cancer diagnosis or when our child is hurt. Admiring and trying to imitate a guy [Jesus] who was really in touch with God just doesn't seem to bridge the distance between me and the Almighty in ways that help me understand where the hell God is when we are suffering." (Page 74)

Nadia then writes about the image of God she was raised to believe and writes, "this type of thinking portrays God as just as mean and selfish as we are, which feels like it has a lot more to do with our own greed and spite than it has to do with God." (Page 84)

She then writes about being at Good Friday service, which was three days after the accident involving the two young boy and hearing the passion story in John's Gospel with changed ears. "I listened with the ears of someone who didn't just admire and want to imitate Jesus, but had felt him present in the room where two motherless boys played on the floor." (Page 85)

"I realized that in Jesus, God had come to dwell with us and share our human story. Even the parts of our human story that are the most painful. ... Maybe the Good Friday story is about how God would rather die than be in our sin-accounting business anymore." (Page 85)

"There is simply no knowable answer to the question of why there is suffering. But there is meaning. And for me that meaning ended up being related to Jesus -- Emmanuel -- which means, "God with us." We want to go to God for answers, but sometimes what we get is God's presence." (Page 86)

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By Frank McPherson, Monday, January 20, 2014 at 6:06 PM. Don't slam the door on the way out.