May 21, 2013


I heard an interview this morning with the Congressman from Moore, OK. He said that the tornado in '99 was three blocks from his house one way and the one yesterday was a few blocks away in the other direction. As he reflected about that, he said, "We've been blessed twice."

That phrase really bugs me. After disasters like this, people talk about God protecting them, watching over them, blessing them. The implication is TERRIBLE. That means that all the kids that died were cursed and outside of God's eye? God didn't listen to their prayers for safety?! The truth is in the middle, we are neither blessed nor cursed in that way.

I respect that Jesus addressed it head on:
"Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
The answer isn't emotionally satisfactory because it doesn't sound kind at first. The point is that it's not your circumstances that show if God likes you or "you're in", it's what's happening inside your spirit that matters. We all will die. We all will suffer. Bad things WILL happen. What happens to us inside in the midst of those circumstances? How do we let circumstances draw us towards God or give us a  reason to push away?

I am SO freaked out and sad when I look at the pictures of Moore, but I'm grateful that the path of the storm is not a direct 'finger of God's judgement' either. 

It also bugs me that anyone is still questioning Global Warming. They told us decades ago that storms would get worse as the temperature rises... Now that I live in a very warm state that's in the southern edge of tornado alley, that's a terrifying, sobering thought. 


Inkling said...

I so appreciate this post and your perspective. It's a refreshing bit of sanity and grace in the midst of so many Christian talking heads. I even prayed last night, asking God to shut the mouths coming from pulpits or Christian TV that might try to talk about judgment or God's wrath as being a reason. But it's already happening. People are focusing on the idea of "blessings and curses". I think it's a natural response, but not a healthy one.
Thanks for some great food for thought!

Rachel said...

That bothers me too, the idea that God cursed all the people who died. I remember all the terrible things people said after Katrina. It's hard to explain suffering, if you believe in an all-good, all-powerful God. It's something I still struggle with, honestly.