A hot summer's nights musings

Have you ever heard the expression, "There is a hell and I am living in it"? I heard that the other day although I have heard it before, and I started thinking about it. Is it possible that we do live in hell, maybe not our whole lives but for a determined amount of time, maybe as our penance for our sins?

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This is one of those questions which may or may not be able to be answered, after all you don't really know if there is a heaven or a hell, or even any kind of an after-life until you're dead, and by that time I am not sure you can tell anyone. When me Dad was in a coma, before I made the decision to take him off life support, I asked him to let me know if there was one or not, but as of today, I am still waiting. 

But think about it. If you are of the Christian faith and you believe that we all must pay for our sins before entering heaven, why can't we pay for them while still here on earth? We have all heard the phrase "God has a plan for each of us" and therefore if that is true, could penance be part of the plan.

Recently in thinking of some people I know who aren't doing particularly well health-wise, on of them has dementia, the other has some eye and hearing issues. They have been married for almost sixty years, he is alive but mentally out of it, she has always had him to depend on. She has always been self-centered and selfish putting herself and her needs before anyone else, including her family. I wonder if the two of these people are now serving their penance for any sins they may have committed, whatever they may have been.

His hell is seeing his wife for what she is, helpless, yet still selfish, still trying to be the Queen of her domain while losing her subjects. Her hell is realizing she has lost her subjects as well as her husband, while he is there, he is not. She refuses to accept the fact he will never be the same again, he won't wake up one day and be his old self.

So if this is true, then how long there penance, their purgatory, will last is unknown except to God. But, here is where my train of thought hits a stone wall, if they are in their hell, and putting everyone around them through their own version of hell, how is this fair? Let's assume that those close to them haven't sinned and don't deserve punishment, why are they forced to endure what they are going through? I suppose one can argue God's plan for the family is to make them stronger and they will be on the fast track to heaven, If this is in fact true however, should not they not have any other problems?

These are just a few of those unanswered questions which tend to arise on a hot summer Sunday night.
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