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If this is how god works, I refuse to follow him January 13, 2010

Posted by phoenixhopes in God, Haiti, thoughts.

My heart has been broken seeing the suffering and devastation in Haiti. Port-au-Prince flattened. Tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, killed. More injured than will ever be counted. Children orphaned. Mothers left childless. Homes of both the rich and the poor damaged or destroyed.

How does one process this much pain? How do we even comprehend it? How do we understand or see the hand of God in the midst of this?

I’ll be the first to confess that I don’t have a well-developed Theology of Suffering. I don’t know how a loving God allows bad things to happen. I don’t know why babies die or floods kill thousands or millions are killed in wars or children are molested. I don’t have answers for the seemingly random pain in our individual lives and certainly can’t answer for the corporate pain caused by disasters such as the Haitian earthquake. I have struggled with the question of pain and found there are no satisfactory answers.  The best I can do is accept the questions, acknowledge the pain and work to alleviate it.

There are some who think they have the answers. They think they speak for God and give reasons for the pain. Today Pat Robertson claimed the Haitians brought this destruction down on themselves, that God allowed it because of the history of the country. I’m angry at his words and angry at how he misuses the name of God to spew his hate. I’m angry that this man soils the name of Christ and that this is the “Christian” reaction seen by the world.

At the same time I feel sorry for the Pat Robertsons of the world. I’m sad that the only God they know is vengeful and angry. I’m sad that their life is lived in fear of doing something to piss off God so much that he could strike them, or their descendants, dead. If their god is the true god, I want nothing to do with him.

It’s hard to see the devastation, to embrace the questions, to accept that we may never understand, and still believe. Keep our hearts broken and let us somehow be the hands of God to the hurting world.