Or cancer, or blindness, or gout?
Does He understand our pain?
Hey Bandit! Long time, no see. Are you back with us now? Or are you just taking a peek?
Might I assume you have a personal interest on the subject?
Sorry to hear about your grandmother, a few years ago I spent some time caring for patients with alzheimer's and had a taste of the heartache that relatives must go through.
As for whether God understands, I've always felt that questions like this reuduce God in some way. I can't get past the idea that entire scope of human experience must be within God's comprehension. Maybe we can'tfigure that out, but isn't that just because God is God and we are human?
Hi Bandit. Welcome back.
My heart goes out to you as well as your grandmother. The memories are still very fresh for me, watching my dear sweet young mom lose some of her capabilities from a massive stroke in the brain stem. And there was the time that my my eight-year-old's dad could no longer recognize her--that was hard! But I also noticed that through it all, these loved ones of mine also seemed to gain something--that being that some of the either/or opinions to which they had always clung kind of went out the window, and in many ways they were happier. Of course I can't explain it, but it was almost as if they had been freed from some lifelong dogmatic conclusions and were met with simpler answers from a sweeter place.
One such instant had to do with an artist's rendering of Jesus that had always hung on my mother's bedroom wall. Even though Mom had always said that noone really knew what Jesus looked like physically, she still liked the picture because he was represented at a very contemplative moment, and she liked the look on his face. Anyway, after her initial stroke (we didn't know what it was at the time), it was often her habit to try and identify things and people around her. One day, she looked at the picture of Jesus that had gone with her throughout her lifetime, and said, "And that's [here she gave my son-in-law's name}!" My daughter said, "No, Nanny--that's Jesus!" And my mother said, "I know, but it's [and she said my son-in-law's name again] and smiled the biggest smile she could manage and gave a wink. What I think my mother knew is how good my son-in-law had been to our family and to my daughter, and while they had had their troubles in the past, Mom wanted her to know that she was glad they were together and to keep on letting him be good to her. It may not seem like much to someone who didn't know my mother, but for her to say that about that picture of Jesus--well, she just never would have put things that way before. This wasn't the only time she managed to communicate some things in a different way than she had always done. Some things I did not realize until after she passed, and then they became extremely clear. So while I don't know a lot about Alzheimer's, I would say to you that if your loved one cannot communicate with you as they always have, it helps to try and hear them in a way you have never listened. And from what I've been reading from you on other threads, I know you are good at that! Hang in there, Bandit--lifting you up in Love.
Something to think about. If the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of man, as scripture suggests, then how do you know that God is not experiencing Alzheimer's disease through the people He indwells? If you mother was spiritual, perhaps God's Spirit knows what she is going through.
I don't think the mind is the only place the human spirit dwells. I believe the spirit is larger that that. Perhaps, as someone else has said somewhere on these boards, maybe the mind is a hinderance to the fulc capability of the spirit, and upon death, the mind and body releases the spirit to wherever unfettered by the chains of the fleshly brain. I have no idea what kind of subconcious mind you grandmother has, but my feeling is that as soon as she is gone, she will become aware again, but that right now her spirit is intact, depite her limitations to understand.
There is an analogy oft used that puts our soul/spirit as the driver of a car. Driving through life's experiences, around the curves, up and down the hills, breaking down, getting damaged, occasionally being in or causing wrecks, getting rebuilt. Implication was we are not our bodies, we are the drivers.
I don't think I ever fully appreciated the analogy until I had grandparents with disease and dementia... I was able to separate the soul I knew that sat me on her lap, and told me stories from the person that is in front of me. It helped me deal with the loss, and enjoy the memories.
Re the discussion of G!d not being able to experience x, y, or z. I think there is a lesson there as well. We often do the same thing. We have an experience, awful, embarrassing, whatever while we are in it. But then we look back and see the learning, or however embarrassing it was 10 years down the line it becomes one of our favorite stories to tell. All the embarrassment is washed away, or all the troubles relating to the accident or lost job are washed away and we see the personal growth that we achieved due to the occurrence. I think G!d only sees the good and potential in all we do....not the embarrassment not the issues we see...and our lesson is to laugh in the moment, grasp the lesson and not the pain.