Elizabeth Edwards and God

I learned last night from ABC News about Elizabeth Edwards’ passing. It featured an excerpt on an interview in which Elizabeth talked about her faith. She said that her God was not someone who would intervene and heal her of her cancer, but was rather her savior and one who brought her enlightenment.

I wasn’t sure how to interpret this. Was her view on God similar to that of Harold Kushner, who argues that God cannot heal? In When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Kushner says that God is like a parent who cannot fix our broken toy: he would if he could, since he is good, but he can’t.

Or was Elizabeth saying that, for her personally, God was not a healer but was a savior and one who brought her enlightenment? In this scenario, God may heal people of diseases, but God doesn’t always do so. God did not remove Paul’s thorn in the flesh, for example, because God wanted to teach Paul to rely on God’s strength amidst his weakness.

I don’t know. I was touched by how Elizabeth said that she has learned to value each and every day, and how she’s looking forward to being reunited with her son, who died in an accident years ago. I’m also touched by how John Edwards was by her side in her last moments. He did her wrong as a husband, but he and she are still family.

There were good things that came out of this tragedy, I suppose. There were lessons that Elizabeth learned, and she taught them to us. Broken relationships were mended somewhat. But I have problems with the notion that God would orchestrate or permit this tragedy to bring about such good things. Cancer is horrible.

In any case, R.I.P., Elizabeth Edwards.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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