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61 people found this helpful
A very helpful book in difficult times
on 26 December 2010
I read this book 4 weeks after my 17-year old son, Ibrahim Ditto, died on 24 November 2010.
My son was feeling very well and went to play basketball. He felt dizzy and next we knew he was in intensive care. Doctors could not find what was wrong with him and neither did the autopsy. We had to wait weeks before his body was released to us for burial.
I had some big why questions.
This book was very easy to read so that made it easy for me access at a time when my concentration levels were probably not at their best.
The book does present quite a paradigm shift which I continue to struggle with. Before I read the book I believed that God was all powerful and that he pre-planned everything. So in that sense what happened to my son was pre-ordained and there was nothing we could do about it. It was his destiny. This held some consolation for me (no guilt) but did leave me with the question why would God plan this for me - even if there is a higher purpose - it does seem quite cruel.
Kushner introduces a kinder God who does not necessarily pre-plan everything. In fact I finish the book with a much clearer definition of God ...God is the good in all of us, God is love.
As to whether my son died because it was his destiny - yes to some extent, but not pre-ordained by God. Rather, I believe it was due to chance and some bad luck - he happened to have suffered from something which we don't yet understand and therefore could not diagnose or treat. It is this same chance that has brought us a lot of luck in our life including the blessing of having a son like him.
I hope this review helps people with questions, to make the choice about whether this book will be helpful for them.