Is it My Fault?
“Is it my fault?” cried Maggie, whose child was suffering from pneumonia. As she began to tell me her story, I soon discovered that Maggie was undergoing a crisis of faith. Her parents were very “religious.” Their religion demanded certain dietary laws, worship on Saturdays, covering the head, and special dress. Furthermore, when their religious laws were broken, discipline was meted out.
When Maggie was young, her mother would sometimes break their dietary laws by stopping at McDonald’s, prompting Maggie to question their religious laws. When Maggie’s first child was born with a brain disease and permanently handicapped, her parents accused her of not praying hard enough. Though Maggie was now far away from the influence of her parents and their church, Maggie feared that she had caused her child’s illness. “Is this my fault?” she asked at the child’s bedside in the hospital. Her religious laws offered her no help and no hope, and her tearful question was a cry for help.
I told Maggie that Jesus’ disciples once asked the same question regarding a blind man. They asked, “Did he or his parents’ sin?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that God’s works might be revealed in connection with him” (John 9:3).
While no miraculous healing took place for Maggie’s child, Maggie learned the good news about Jesus Christ and received the miraculous gift of faith. Jesus perfectly kept all the commandments for her so that through faith in Him she was now covered with his perfect living. Jesus also suffered and died upon the cross for her sins. Now she could live in peace and in friendship with God. The laws of God are still good and important, but they are for thanking and praising the Savior Jesus.
Maggie’s tears dried. Her eyes brightened in faith. The good news of Jesus’ saving love was her help. For more spiritual strength and comfort, I encouraged her to read the Gospels of Luke and John. Like the disciples, we did not get an answer to the question: “Whose fault is it?” But, we did follow Peter’s words: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69).
Chaplain Kenneth Wenzel