An Agnostic in a Foxhole

Today I read a heart-felt article called An Agnostic in a Foxhole: The Story Behind “Heaven in My Hand”, by Bob McCue. In it, McCue describes his feelings as his young son goes into the ICU. He developed a serious infection after simply taking his wisdom teeth out. You can feel the pain he is going through as he says:

I can feel my heart rate rising as a result of typing this. Our son is in serious trouble.

I really liked his logical thinking here (as he tries to compare his mental state in a crisis before , as a Mormon and post Mormon):

The major difference between my mental and emotional state in this case as compared to other similar situations involving serious health problems is that I am relatively calm. I am not attempting to exercise faith in anything. Reality is what it is. The laws of cause and effect will run their course. We have done, and will continue to do, all we can. I can do nothing to help my son by internally emoting – working myself into a frenzy by praying, fasting, etc. All I can do is be there for him; comfort him with my presence; express my love for him; and most importantly, provide access to the best medical care of which I am capable. If there is one thing that history makes clear it is that the quality of medical care we receive is far more directly related to surviving medical crises than positive energy of any kind.

He adds later:

That is not say that I am happy. I can feel raw fear differently than I have felt it before. It is not masked by my frantic efforts to contact God on behalf of my son and work out some kind of a deal for him, or to beg and plead on his behalf and then at the end say “but Thy will be done”. I am not attempting to control reality. I am yielding to it. And this means yielding to the fear I feel – letting it wash over me.


~ by bonoboi on September 19, 2006.

2 Responses to “An Agnostic in a Foxhole”

  1. Oh,my!

    Thank you for introducing me to McCue’s writings. From your link I went over and spent some time perusing his site. Stunningly smart and well thought out opinions abound.

  2. […] See also Bob McCue’s story here. […]

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