Sandyhook Elementary School, Hurricane Sandy, now the typhoon in the Philippines…10,000 or more suspected dead. Sickness and evil on one hand, natural disasters on the other. Someone is asking, “Where is God in the midst of all of this tragedy?” Flippant and shallow theological responses will not do. As pastors, leaders and teachers, we should not pretend to know the answers to such painful conundrums. “From whence cometh evil?” That is the puzzlement that has bewildered humanity throughout antiquity to the present age.
We can, however, reflect upon and seek to replicate the spirit of love, unity, compassion and benevolence that arises in each of these instances from the ash heaps of despair. God shows up when we embrace each other with tender loving care, providing a shoulder to cry upon. God shows up as we as individuals, communities, and nations do what we can to provide food, water, shelter and clothing to those who have been stripped of everything.
God shows up when we, at least for a moment, put our differences of race, gender and class aside, and see our common humanity.
Could these things be the “refuge, strength and present help” that God chooses to use in the time of storm?
“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.” Psalm 46: 4 English Standard VersionCould we be the “river” that God uses to “make glad the city of God?” May rivers of peace, compassion, healing, support, encouragement and deliverance flow from the hearts, hands and spirits of God’s people so that the world may see and hear God even in the midst of tragedy.
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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,