Saturday, January 30, 2010

God Amid The Haitian Rubble

Does Job-like suffering excuse bad theology?

A pastor in Port-au-Prince lost his wife and six other people who lived in his house. Veteran NPR correspondent Corey Flinthoff asked him what he he told people, when asked why the earthquake happened.

"It was God's will," is the pastor's immediate reply. The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.

This is s not the type of God I believe in. God does not play dice, as Einstein said - nor throw thunderbolts in the form of a horrible earthquake to unleash massive suffering. God did not do that; the workings of the natural world did.

Yet God is most certainly a key actor here. But not in the dart-throwing way that the Haitian pastor and - more notorioiusly - Pat Robertson claim.

God was with those buried under the rubble, whether or not they were saved. And with the rescuers, too.

God is with the desperate people in the streets, including the million or more people with no roof over their heads.

God is with grieving people having to bury their loved ones, if at all, in makeshift graves.

God is with those still searching for their loved ones.

May God be with us, as we continue to respond to this calamity.

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