Thursday, February 07, 2008

Holy Crap

My heart and my prayers are with all of those who lost their homes and loved ones in the devastating tornadoes that went through the southern region this week. How horrible that these disasters strike. It always seems so random. One house gone, the one next door standing without a scratch.

How do we explain it?

Well, those who survive have this odd tendency to credit God with their survival.

The house was gone, but Kruger says he believes there's reason why he survived.

"I think God was holding my leg, beating my ass, teaching me that I hadn't been doing everything he wanted me to do," he said.

Yep, God held his leg and got him through the tornado to knock some sense into the poor boy.

I heard two students from Union University in Tennessee talk about how God saved them from the storms.

Holy crap!

No one thinks through what they're saying when they thank God for their survival. Yes, they're alive and they're thankful and that's good. But, they don't stop to think what kind of God they're praising. Why did God spare them and not the others? Why were they special? So, God likes Mr. Kruger better than the other 50 or so folks who died during the storm?

The problem is we can't accept the utter randomness of life. We must have been spared by some benevolent sky God instead of simply being lucky. God had nothing to do with it. Just as God had nothing to do with the storm. The storm was the result of specific weather conditions converging to form tornadoes. God didn't will it. It happened because that's what happens when these conditions converge.

God didn't "save" anyone. God didn't take anyone's life. God didn't "protect" anyone and "forsake" anyone else.

A storm came. Some died. Some didn't. Some lost their homes. Some didn't.

Luck of the draw. Nothing more.

Those who remain alive are glad to be alive and they should be. If it makes them rethink how they're spending their lives and they decide they ought to live better lives, then God is in that. God is always there, grieving with us, giving us hope and bringing redemption out of shitty situations.

God is in the comfort. God is in the growth after the tragedy. God is not in the storm - God is in the still small voice that comforts and encourages us after the bad shit happens.


Ally said...

Yes, Candace. Yes, yes, yes.

When I came out, several Christian friends warned of God's impending judgment upon my family and I. It made me wonder, if nothing tragic happens in our future, will they see it as God's blessing on my choices? Or as a fluke of grace?

Candace Chellew-Hodge said...

It's too bad that people have such a twisted view of God. Personally I don't want to worship a God who is either so capricious that he'd rescue some and let others die. If God is truly "almighty" then God could just make all storms go out to sea and never hurt anyone. Fact is, we have weather here on earth and sometimes it destroys lives. As the theologians say, "Shit happens." The grace is in what grows out of the shit. :)