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They expected what?!

The headline of the Hamilton Spectator this past Tuesday just about leaped off the page at me: Hamilton family left corpse upstairs for six months expecting resurrection. (http://www.thespec.com/news-story/5165939-hamilton-family-left-corpse-upstairs-for-six-months-expecting-resurrection/)

empty coffinReally?! If I wasn’t awake before I read that, I sure was now.

Why would they expect the corpse of their dead relative to be able to come back to life?  The article begins:

Peter Wald’s family truly believed he would rise from the dead. They believed it because they had prayed for it, every single day, while his corpse lay rotting for six months in an upstairs bedroom of their Hamilton home.

Wald’s widow said their expectation was based on their faith. She had placed his body in a bedroom and sealed the door as well as any vents, hoping to keep the odour in. She and the family fervently prayed for six months. When they defaulted on their mortgage an eviction notice brought the sheriff to their door. This led to the discovery of the body and a court case.

Mrs. Wald said their faith was still strong, as witnessed in them packing his clothes when they were evicted, just in case the resurrection was yet to come.

The judge did not take issue with their faith, only with the health and well-being of the family. They were free to expect a resurrection. They were not free to keep a corpse on the premises.

Why did they expect this? Mrs. Wald says she still believes strongly in resurrection, and says there have been many “documented” cases of it around the world. Her faith was not shaken by the legal consequences of her actions. We saw in our last post that we expect things for one of three reasons: our past experience, our desire for it to happen, or the authority of others. This case probably rests on the second and third reason. Her belief that resurrections happened in the Bible, and supposedly some modern occurrences, led to the application to her own situations.

Was Mrs. Wald’s expectation one with a firm basis? Why or why not? Based on what we have been looking at, how would you have counseled her to manage that expectation?

© Brian F. Reynolds BFRspace 2014

Expect cover 111

“What do you expect? The question you need to ask!” is now available in paperback for $20 (Can) from Scarlet Cord Press.

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