Every disaster on this scale raises a host of feelings: shock at it’s suddenness, helplessness at the scale of the carnage, but most of all confusion, even anger, at the meaninglessness of it all.
Questions invade our minds. Where is God in all this, why does He allow it? Is this a judgement of sorts on the people or nation? For Christians, the juxtaposition between the calamity and God’s love is especially poignant. Is life, after all, just a matter of chance?
While Christians believe there is a final answer to these questions, the murkiness of our flawed understanding will always leave some mystery unexplained in this life. We see “through a glass darkly,” our view circumscribed by our ignorance, reminding us that our walk is by faith, not by sight.
Of course, pat answers are no help to anyone, especially those made destitute, bereaved, or maimed in minutes. For them, the questions must wait; our duty is to bring succour and relief within our capabilities. But the questions remain, hanging as an oppressive cloud over the event.
Volumes are written on the subject of suffering, yet every catastrophe casts a shadow of doubt on all our attempts at answers. Each time it causes us to review the fragility of life, our view of the purpose of life, and the paradox of human disaster and a God of love.
I would like to discuss these questions together in succeeding blogs. Please feel free to share your ideas.