I have cancer as a punishment for my evil ways. Why could the punishment not have been the flu? Or something equally benign? I guess it could have been worse is I had sinned more. I watch House every week on television, and there are a number of conditions that are worse than cancer.

I noticed this couple at one of my chemo sessions. He, the patient, was not a happy camper. Nothing unusual, few of us smile on these occasions. I noticed them again at my last Chemo Daycare part. He was still not a happy camper. Barely said anything. I nodded at him, and he nodded back. His wife/partner/sister who was accompanying him struck up a conversation.

This is not the first time I have heard this interpretation of our condition. SHe maintains that he got cancer because he strayed from the path. This is his punishment. He will get better when he returns to the path.

We continued talking, wandering into a discussion of good and evil. The notion of Satan or the Devil doing his work, while God stands by. Janet left the waiting room. These discussions rarely go anywhere. I enjoy the mental exercise. That is what it is. Getting around the inconsistencies is quite an exercise.

The idea that God would stand by while the Devil goes about his evil ways begs the question of what sort of relationship these two have. I am assuming, of course, that there is such a thing as the Devil or Satan. More on that later.  Does God have a contract with Satan? God says, look at him and his evil ways, take him out. I say he is a category 2 evil. Category 2 you say, well that stands for Cancer. Got it.

The sinner repents, and God says, that is good. You are back in my flock. Devil, here is your commission, job well done. I still have cancer, the price to be paid for my sinning ways.

The woman who brought up the argument that Cancer is a punishment belongs to the Pentecostal Church. He has cancer because he strayed from the straight and narrow.  She will not get cancer because she is on the path through the salvation of Jesus Christ. If God will heal, what is he doing here, in chemo daycare? The answer to some comment I made returns this response: Did God tell him he has cancer? Who are going to believe, God or the Doctor? This is the second time I have come across this particular twist.

If there is a God the almighty, why is there a devil? Why cannot God take him out? God the good, Satan the evil. Are the lines really that clear?

The contradictions in the arguments are astounding. Reconciling the concept of good and evil is, in itself, a Herculean task. What is good and where is the separation between good and evil? Who defines what is good, and by contrast what is evil? Darkness is the absence of light. Is evil the absence of good? Which brings us back to who defines what is good?

The lines separating good and evil get murkier as one gets older. The advantage of not knowing with absolute certainty what all the answers are. Fire is both good and evil. The definition of what is good is getting harder.

Is my cancer good or evil. On the face of it, I can say with absolute certainty that is evil. On the other hand, this blog has helped people who either have cancer, or know someone who does. Getting cancer has given me the opportunity to delve into afreas I would not normally venture into.

My relationship with Fetneh has become stronger than ever, as has my relationship with my brother. My wife and I are closer than we have ever been, a renewed relationship, if that were possible. I cannot work, but I can still help people. Religion plays a bigger role in my life. Contemplation of life and events that surround me have gained a new importance and a validity of sorts. Is cancer bad? I can truly say that it is a pain, and for sure not a good thing. The effects of it, though, have been surprising and an opportunity for spiritual growth.

Baha’is are encouraged to fast once a year, between March 2 and March 21. We are enjoined to not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. We wake up before sunrise and eat enough to see us to sunset. We also say prayers, one of which is the prayer for the fast. the fast ends with the New Years celebration called Naw Ruz, literally translated as New Day. One of the prayers celebrating Naw Ruz has a passage that is particularly interesting to me:

“Shouldst Thou regard him who hath broken the fast as one who hath observed it, such a man would be reckoned among them who from eternity had been keeping the fast. And shouldst Thou decree that he who hath observed the fast hath broken it, that person would be numbered with such as have caused the Robe of Thy Revelation to be stained with dust, and been far removed from the crystal waters of this living Fountain.”

This opens an amazing door for compassion and forgiveness. Qualifying an action by the amount of spirituality or sincerity in observing rules and regulations.Can this be translated to the observance of other rules?

Some things should be considered as evil, though not at the behest of Satan. Murder in all its forms, as in genocide, is reprehensible. The effects of such actions may not be reprehensible. If death is the ultimate goal of life, then surely such actions fulfill the life long destiny of the victims ushering them into the next life.

Is this too far fetched

© 2010 I Have Cancer Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha