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Taste and See...
By Oliver Sutari

September 10, 2013


It is said, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”  I have often wondered why the author of the quote did not say that the proof of the pudding is in seeing it.  Is it because something may look like a pudding, but may be something else altogether?

As knowledge seekers, I cannot imagine a person who has not been confronted with the question, “If there is a God, then why can’t we see Him.” The more poignant question, especially for those who have experienced it is, “If there is a God, then why is there suffering?”

Loving as He is, I don’t think God detests that question. In fact, I believe He perfectly understands why we even ask it.  While the question has dodged mankind from the beginning, I can think it is safe to say that it will always remain elusive.  Great scientists of the past like Albert Einstein, Edward Hubble and several others paid respect to a ‘great mind’, or a ‘superior being’, behind the creation of the universe. Many contemporary scientists who started their search to disprove the work of a superior intelligence behind the universe, have gone on to say that science is far too limited to reach the depths of the universe to find an answer.  So many have ended up acknowledging that only God could have created something so magnificent, so scientifically and mathematically perfect.  That reminds me of this beautiful verse from the Holy Bible: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Book of Psalms, Chapter 19, verse 1.

Stephen Hawking said that it is not God, but the laws of gravity that brought the universe into existence. John Lennox, a scientist with three PhD’s and defender of the Christian faith, says that attributing gravity to bring something into existence is like saying that an engine – which also requires the laws of science – can be built without a scientist.

Hawking suffers from motor neuron disease, a highly debilitating condition that has left him completely paralyzed. Unable to even speak or write, he uses a highly complex computer system to ‘type’ what he wants to say with the help of a switch attached to his wheel chair, the only interface between him and the computer.  He selects the word using eye movement.  Once the sentence is constructed, a software converts it into a voice response, using a synthesizer. Hawking, although a genius, could not have been heard but for the machine that was designed and created by several scientists. Ironically, Hawking who constantly peers into the universe, is unable to see from his own computer system that a complex concept necessarily requires an equally complex genius to bring it into existence.  Even someone of Hawking’s intellect should know that not even in a 100 billion years could a machine like that evolve on its own, let alone the human brain which is capable of building a machine like that, and which is far more complex than any machine imaginable.

Today, some scientists who do not believe in God, come up with theories that travel between two universes in a matter of minutes is a distinct possibility. If such a ‘scientific’ fantasy is possible, then why is it not possible for God (who could create a universe and earth in all its splendour) to take us upto heaven?  

Coming back to the question of suffering, if we believe there is God, then – much like faith – giving meaning to our suffering is solely left to us.  And how we respond to a difficult situation can make the difference between continuing sorrow, or our own upliftment.  There is no question that a lot of good has come to a lot of people from suffering.

Ashlyn Blocker is a girl who suffers from an extremely rare genetic disorder that prevents her from feeling any pain - literally!  And it does not make any difference whether her hurts, including burns, are minor or major. She needs to be constantly protected from injuries because even though she cannot feel pain, death still remains a reality – as with any human being.  Far from considering it a blessing, her mother prays for her to feel pain like any other child. Her condition is so ironical in a world that constantly battles the question, “Why is there pain?”

Sure, we can always boast that we have a right to ask, just as we have the right to mess up our lives even when we have everything going well for us.  But, without doubt, those who have surrendered to God have found peace even in very adverse of life’s situations, and have found their silver lining in the midst of sorrow.  And, those who have asked, “What should I be now doing?”, have found answers.  I believe God does not want us to dwell on “why” because it only straps us in the past, but on “what” because it helps us move on.

Studies are showing that a person who surrenders to God - even an illness like cancer - have not only found peace, but have experienced complete healing. The spontaneous remission of cancer cells in patients have baffled oncologists so many times that they are being compelled to look for answers in the metaphysical realm.

Forty years ago, a woman lost her husband and was left with nine children to raise, the oldest one being 15 years of age.  How is it ever possible for an uneducated woman - living in a village, with a bulb no brighter than the burning wick of a tiny candle, no convenient means of transportation, having to work as a part-time servant in three households - to raise children and help them grow into healthy, independent individuals?  Her children today are either doing reasonably well or very well.

I asked her if she ever felt that God had abandoned her.  She said that there were many times, immediately after the demise of her husband, that she felt that way. Not finding any meaningful answer to her loss, she garnered whatever little faith she had in God and told Him, “I don’t know why you did it, but I believe you are there, and you will help me raise the nine children you have given me.”

Then she said something profoundly beautiful, which inspired me to write this article. She said, “I have not seen Him, but I have felt his sweetness, His helping hand, all through my life.  When I lost my husband, I never thought I could raise even one child, and here I am now blessed to hear some good news almost every other month from a son or a daughter.  God’s blessings continue to pour till this day.”

What I have found convincingly wonderful is how God connects the dots in our lives to uplift us when life appears to be in a trough.  I have experienced it personally so many times that I refuse to hand it to coincidence or chance.

Indeed, as the book of Psalms, Chapter 34, verse 8 of the Holy Bible says, “TASTE and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”

 

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Comments on this article
Francis Passanha, ManipalMonday, September 16, 2013
I have tasted and found it good.
Comment on this message     

Oliver Sutari, ManipalMonday, September 16, 2013
Dear Mr. Bhandarkar,
Thank you for your comments. She is, indeed, a medical doctor and hence I addressed her as Dr. Pallavi. She is also a good friend and, perhaps, that is why she was generous with her comments!
Comment on this message     

R.Bhandarkar, M'loreSunday, September 15, 2013
Think the condition is that 'Faith should be unconditional' If you start attaching prerequisites the path is lost. 'To Thy Will I surrender' only then becomes absolute and complete.
Dear Sutari...Yes Ms Pallavi has put it in explicitly. You can call her a Dr.on that account too.
Comment on this message     

Lucy Rodrigues, Moodubelle/MumbaiFriday, September 13, 2013
Very happy to read the article. Great. Thank you.
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jones, manipalFriday, September 13, 2013
Pallavi your answers surprises me.looks like you are a person with good faith.
Comment on this message     

Rony, , Manipal, MctFriday, September 13, 2013
Hi Oliver, this was indeed a very difficult subject and you have explained so very well. Thanks. With your every new article, i read all your archives once again. Thanks once again. regards,
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Patrick Fernandes, Mangalore/CanadaFriday, September 13, 2013
John 5:28-29 New International Version (NIV)
28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.
Just a doubt if every one dies goes to their Creator, Who will Jesus resurrect.
Comment on this message     

Oliver Sutari, ManipalThursday, September 12, 2013
Dear Dr. Pallavi,

You have given the question of death and suffering such a beautiful and meaningful perspective. I could not have penned it better. Always good to know that you read my articles. With my prayers and best wishes, always.
Comment on this message     

Pallavi, Mangalore/DubaiThursday, September 12, 2013
Very well worded article, dear Oliver...
As to the question of why someone loses faith when they lose someone dear... Every situation in this life is a test from the Creator, and pain is the most essential element in every test to know how true you are. When we all know that we are human and have to die one day, why will the death of a loved one shake that faith? In fact this is the best time to have Faith, it is the most comforting thing in the world to know that a loved one has returned to a loving Creator, to a world where there is no more pain... Faith in a merciful, loving and just creator makes every situation in this life bearable, if not enjoyable...
because a true believer knows that even when things do not seem good or fair,they are still part of God's plan. Even the worst tragedies of this world are temporary, part of a world that will perish with time, and the only thing that is everlasting is God.
So every time life seems unfair, strengthen your faith, and realize that God is testing you, giving you a chance to grow spiritually... Like a wise man said "if you wince at every rub, how will you be polished?"
Comment on this message     

Ashok Kumar B, Udupi / QatarThursday, September 12, 2013
Thank you Oliver for your very nice informative and excellent article. As I know you personally, on my next visit I will bring a friend of mine who is an atheist, kindly guide him.

Please keep writing.
Comment on this message     

Jones, manipalWednesday, September 11, 2013
Mr. Oliver a well written article.

A person faithful in all he does suddenly looses one of his loved ones, blames God or says if God is loving-Exists he would not have taken my dear one away. How will one convince such a person. How can one justify God still cares.
Comment on this message     

Tony Crasta, Sydney/MangaloreTuesday, September 10, 2013
Well written article on a difficult subject. Well done Oliver!
Comment on this message     

aneesh, manipalTuesday, September 10, 2013
Its been only few days after the article "Is the Conscience Dying" you have come with this present article- Two most commonly asked questions and excuse given by people to argue God does not exists.
Congrats You have addressed these questions well.
Comment on this message     

Taste and See, MANIPALTuesday, September 10, 2013
Hello Oliver
Very well written. Happy to read the article. Keep writing.

Sandra D'Souza, Manipal.
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Peter, Bolkunje/mangaloreTuesday, September 10, 2013
Very good thought in your article about Stephen Hawking. I always thought that one day someone will give a fitting reply to this highly respected scientist. That he is alive till today is God's grace for him to recognise how good God is and turn back to Him. The first article I read by you ' Is the conscience dying' . Very impressed. Keep writing Oliver
Comment on this message     

Rovina, Brahamavara/AndheriTuesday, September 10, 2013
Sutari I had seen you 3 years back in Divine Centre, Potta for a retreat with your family. From then, I enjoy reading your articles. I too have been born and raised in Mumbai and will be settling in Udupi. You have written about Mumbai is very true. Good article.
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