A little over three years ago Americans faced one of the biggest violations in our history - the terrorist attack of 9/11. Because of it we have a heightened empathy for the victims of the 12/26 earthquake- generated-tsunami in southern Asia. The world has committed millions of dollars of aid, with Americans pledging the greatest amount of $350 million, so far. And that's just from the government. Personal contributions are high as well, with one company giving $3 million alone. The death toll and destruction are enormous, and the right thing, the good thing, the needed, urgent thing is to give whatever we can to help.
What of the deeper needs of the soul? Organizations, churches, and missionaries are also on the scene to help the survivors process through this violation of nature, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This is the harder task. It is not the time for cliches and pat answers, any more than it was on 9/11 and following. It is the time for comfort and wisdom.
Events such as 9/11 and the current tsunami devastation are sobering, and raise the inevitable question, "why?" After the shock it is natural to ask "why?" in an effort to try to make sense of it all. Another common response is also to try to fix blame, like the woman in front of me at the Post Office yesterday who said, "There's no one to blame...but God." This conclusion usually comes from the anger we feel in these kinds of situations. But is it accurate? For many this anger turns to rejection...of God. Let me propose that this rejection comes from not knowing God's nature.
In Mel Gibson's controversial movie, "The Passion of the Christ," people either viewed God as cruel or compassionate. Those who saw God as cruel blamed Him for what man did. Those who saw Him as compassionate saw the extent He would suffer at the hand of man. Many of you are familiar with C.S. Lewis, who addressed this issue from many facets in his books. Tothesource has a very helpful article on this subject which I would like to recommend. See: "A Grief Observed"
Let me also say, that in times such as these, many people turn towards God, and those who know Him cry out to Him. Who was it that said, "There are no atheists in foxholes"? I know this is not a politcally correct article, but then who says that politics are suppose to dictate what is correct anyway? Politics don't answer the deeper questions.
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