For some, tragedy occurs as a result of personal sin. They see someone in a disastrous situation and they immediately attribute it to some fault, sin, or disobedience to God in the person’s life. Sometimes they connect the dots with someone else close. In either case this usually this adds to their suffering.
In The God I Love: A Lifetime of Walking with Jesus, author and speaker Joni Earickson Tada describes how, at 17 as a result of a diving accident, she broke her neck. As a result she became a quadriplegic. In that book, she also tells the story of her trip to a Kathryn Kuhlman rally in Washington, D.C., in hopes of receiving a healing. Kuhlman went about the country holding services of healing in which many were touched by Jesus with physical healing.
After her return home, disappointed because she received no healing (no one in the wheelchair or walker-bound group received healing that night) a relative connected the dots. “You know why this happened to Joni, don’t you? The family doesn’t talk about it much but Uncle John was divorced.”
“My Dad?” Joni said, aghast when she heard. After all the young people in their church’s youth group paired off and married, the last “couple,” Joni’s dad and a young lady, married. Only later did they discover that they made the wrong decision. Joni says their union was not blessed with love. John later remarried and had a family of four girls, one of whom was Joni. The young lady never remarried, became a family friend whom the children called “Aunt,” and whom John also supported financially the rest of her life.
Joni’s relative connected the dots between Joni’s quadriplegia and her father’s divorce. The idea has a long history. Each of Job’s friends also find a way to connect the dots. Eliphaz’ personal revelation accuses Job of sin because of Job’s mortality; Bildad insinuates Job’s children brought on their death themselves by their transgression; and Zophar simply states that Job deserves more than what he received, one way to hit people over the head with the grace of God.
Have you ever had someone “connect the dots” with you? How were you hurt?