Thursday, February 21, 2008
To anyone who's wondering: Gary and I are 340 miles west of Elko and Wells, and haven't been affected by the earthquake at all.
This morning I spoke to my cousin, who sounds surprisingly cheerful, under the circumstances, and who seems more worried about his father and his wife than about himself. He may be able to go home tomorrow. The next step will be to see an oncologist, and then to start chemo.
After I spoke to him, my father called. He's never been close to this cousin or his siblings, and he's very sorry to hear the news, but he also took it -- somewhat gloatingly -- as an opportunity to try to shoot down my faith. "How can you believe in this fairy tale? How could a good God let people suffer? You know, somebody just wrote a book about how he stopped believing in God because the Bible doesn't tell us why we suffer. So how can you answer that?"
We've been through this ten million times. Whenever anything unpleasant happens in the world, my father calls me to crow about how there can't possibly be a God. I've had ten million conversations about theodicy with him, quoting Job and C.S. Lewis and anyone else I can think of, but of course it never works. I did not feel like another useless debate about theodicy this morning, so I'm afraid I cut him somewhat short. "Dad, we're not going to settle this, okay? I believe what I believe. You believe what you believe. We aren't going to change each other's minds."
In the meantime, I'd arranged to go to Katharine's house this evening for help with the knitting project I screwed up on the plane. On the phone with my Dad, I was carefully working on another project, in yarn that's notoriously difficult to frog. Suddenly I realized that the needle had become detached from the cable and a bunch of stitches had slid off: major crisis.
I tried to pick up the stitches again and, as usual, have wound up with a mess . . . so now Katharine will have to help me fix two projects.
Dang. Why am I ruining everything I touch right now?
I'm going to the hospital today. I hope that will go better!