The Ericksons

Christian Karma

I used to live with guilt about whether or not my husband  got cancer because I was afraid he would. I told this story in my last blog post. You can read that here.

Then one day I begin to think about it. Is that really how God works? One of his children names their fear and so he sends it down upon them? That would be like one of my kids saying that they’re afraid of snakes, only to have me put a rattlesnake in their bed. If God is a better parent than I am, and surely He is, Then He doesn’t work that way. That would be like me knowing that my child is afraid of spiders, putting her in a room of Black Widows. That may sound extreme, but it’s no more extreme than cancer.

This is a Christian form of Karma

Saint Luke makes this same observation in his gospel.

“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13 KJV)

I think it’s true that we do need to watch the things that we say. The words we use are indicative of the condition of our heart. And, the things that we say affect those around us.

“With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and with it, we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” (James 3:9-10)

We must watch what we say to those around us. We can do great damage without words.

“…The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3: 5-6)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21)

When we speak to our children we can build them up or tear them down. When we speak to our spouse we can build them up here them down. This is why we speak life rather than death.

Being so afraid is an experience (whether it’s rational or not) when we most need God’s loving help. It’s also when we need our fellow brothers and sisters understanding and support. So, did the fear I felt, all those years ago cause my husband’s cancer? No, I was simply a woman in love. And I still am.

Parents worry for their children. That’s why we take precautions to protect them. Those worries don’t cause scraped knees and hurts that come even later in life as the children grow older and go out into this broken world.

Perhaps, God had been speaking to my heart through my fear, letting me know what I would one day deal with? Was He allowing me to prepare? Did he want to see my reaction to such a thought? Was He seeing if I could handle it?

I don’t know. But I do know that my husband’s cancer wasn’t a reaction on God’s part to my fear. My Father in Heaven is better than that.


About Heather Erickson

I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since my husband, Dan was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness.

My goal is to help people face cancer with grace.

My book Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone who Has Cancer, is available on

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