The Lucky People
We can imagine a terrible disease that God didn’t put in the world. Say, spontaneous eye bursting. It follows, then, that something like Stevens-Johnson syndrome could have been left out. It’s hard to imagine that God couldn’t create a world without this disease, since he has already created a world without many horrible, but possible, conditions.
So what do we tell an 8 year old boy with this condition?
You: “God has chosen you for a great purpose. And when it’s over you’ll have infinite bliss in heaven forever.”
Child: “Do all the kids get chosen this way?”
“No, most of them grow up, go to prom, have vacations and weddings and potlucks and football games. Most live until they’re 70 or so and die of something far less difficult.”
“Do they go to heaven, too?”
“Not all of them, but some of them.”
“So my skin blisters, turns black, falls off and I die 8 weeks later of runaway infections and then go to heaven. They live full lives and go to heaven. Is it necessary that I get sick and die when I’m 8?”
“No. God had to allow people to choose evil to allow freely chosen good, but your suffering has nothing to do with free will, so it’s not necessary. But you and your parents will learn deep lessons about the world God chose to create. Of course, other people learn those lessons via less harsh methods and end up in heaven anyway. How about this, your soul will be built by this suffering?”
“Do the lucky people build their souls, too, without their skin falling off?”
“Could I be like them instead of like me?”