Do you believe there is a God?

Dear Bloggers,

This morning I woke up at five and had a sad kind of feeling over me. My thoughts wandered of again to my younger days. I do not have that many memories left after my accident unless the memories had a very deep impact on my live. But first of all let me do some introducion on the story. This story goes back more than 20 years. My dad had a stable with ponys and those were for rent as it was his hobby many guys and girls helped on a volunteerly base to get the stable going and keep the prices affordable for everyone. Carolien was one of them and she was a good looking young girl who lived during the holidays on a campsite with her family. She had a lot of headaches during the summer period but no one came to the conclusion that there was something wrong inside as she was a happy and cheerful girl. What a shame that she was ripped out of our lives and my God what have these parents gone through.

 My daughter is slowly climbing up to the time of adolescence and it reminds me of these days that I was struggling with hormones, emotions and all other interests in the other sex. But deep inside I was too shy to get involved with these girls. I am not a Don Juan and that was what God had forbidden. I was brought up with religion and I had to go to church during my youth. I stopped believing after one of my dearest friends was killed by a brain tumor and our dear God did nothing to save her. God killed my friend or at the very least stood by doing nothing while she died, while allowing people like surgeon’s who did not recognize this to live on with no regrets.

My friend, we’ll call her Carolien, died this past weekend at the age of 14. She was diagnosed having a severe headache problem but no one thought that it would be a brain tumor, and she could have had every type of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy possible at that time, but no one came to the idea that she would have a brain tumor. When she collapsed at the volleybal training they rushed her into the operating theatre and tried to remove the tumor or at least to make it smaller. It was to far grown to remove it and it was not good enough to save her. She was sweet, caring, beautiful, and strong; she had recently gotten into high school and had a lifetime worth of goals and dreams ahead of her. Carolien had made plans for her future, and eventually becoming a mother. She volunteered in her community and was kind to everyone she met, regardless of whether she personally liked them. She was active in her church, sharing her many talents with anyone who asked.

Let me now add a disclaimer that I don’t believe in a God – there are a lot of things we don’t understand about the universe, and I don’t pretend to have any answers. But when my friend died, I couldn’t help but wonder how someone who believes in a God can justify what happened to her. It’s the classic question – “why do bad things happen to good people?” See, I understand that religious people generally believe in free will, so sometimes when bad things happen to us it’s a result of some action we took. For instance, if I drove my car to the grocery store while it was snowing and got into an accident injuring myself, it’s reasonable to assume that my choice to go for a drive while the roads were slippery played a role in my injuries. It was my choice, and I paid the consequences, despite how inherently good or bad I might be. I also understand that the definition of “good” or “bad” is going to vary between people.

However, I’m not sure of anyone that would consider an early death, like what Carolien had to endure, a good thing. And I don’t think her brain tumor had anything to do with a choice she made (in contrast to some cancers, like lung, which are often caused by an action like smoking). There was nothing she could have done or put into her body that caused that brain tumor – it was some sort of perverse accident, a deadly combination of genetics and environmental factors beyond her control. So then I ask, if you believe in God, what is your justification for this occurrence? Why did God give Carolien a brain tumor (or allow her to die of a brain tumor) while letting serial rapists live? Why did God allow a tsunami to kill over 200,000 people in 2004, while doing nothing to stop a repeat child-molester? Is it because “God works in mysterious ways”? That response always seemed like a bit of a cop-out – if you don’t know the answer, say so. Did my friend sin, and this was her punishment? I don’t buy that – she wasn’t perfect (no one is), but there are many people in this world far worse. Did God smite her just for his own amusement? Or it is possible, just maybe, that God had nothing to do with any of this – that sometimes life sucks and good people pay the consequence?

If God is loving and all-powerful, then he would have saved my friend. He wouldn’t have let her die before her parents, leaving behind a friend who is now considering with continued attention what goals he has left that didn’t involve a lifetime with her. The world is a worse place today, because Carolien is no longer here to share her love and talents with the rest of us. I wrote this blog in loving memory of my dear friend Carolien may she rest in peace for the love of all.

The Old Sailor,


  1. Yes, sad story but look, all is transient under the sun, so, I who are an old timer can well understand how short is the cigarette we smoking and how soon it become end.
    good luck to you


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