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Where is God when tragedy strikes?

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Even before the earthquake in Haiti I had encountered some significant tragedies on the job(I work at a hospital). It has all left me wondering where God is when these things happen. Over at PopDiscourse, Christine Koh asks about church and prompted me to try to put into words what has been whirling around in my brain the last week or so.

The only conclusion that seems to make sense is that maybe all that we know, the good, the bad, is not what our existence is really all about. Most people seem to believe that there is something after this life but is it possible that the something after this life is far more important than what is happening right now. If that is true then maybe a small child who dies and moves on to something better is not so tragic. He will be missed for a time but seen again.

And what about the suffering? Why suffer? I see small children and their parents go through terrible physical and emotional pain. Why?  There is so much beauty and good in the world that I know we are created by a loving God. It doesn’t add up that God would be able to intervene if he wanted to, that he is choosing to stand by and watch the people of Haiti suffer horribly. It makes so much more sense that God gives us a beautiful ship and sets it float. The boat encounters sunrises and sunsets but also terrifying storms. He watches with fear and weeps as a mother weeps for her sick child but He cannot intervene.  He can only wait for us to finish the journey and come back home knowing that once we arrive the suffering will be over for good.

When I look at my daughter, how beautiful, creative and loving she is I know she was carefully crafted by Someone far beyond us. When I think about all the things that could happen in her life that I can not protect her from my only peace comes from the possibility that after this journey we call life we will find peace for eternity together.

How do you make sense of tragedy? How do your beliefs help you make sense of what goes on in the world?

And as for Christine’s question about church:

Tell me, if you’re a church go-er, what do you think my issue is with sermons? Or if you explore spirituality and faith in alternative ways, what do you do?

We found, after much searching, a small church that practices the Catholic rituals (my husband was raised Catholic) but is not under the Pope. The people are generous and loving and the sermons are short and simple. Little nuggets that challenge us to love each other and those around us. When I met the members who are openly gay couples, I knew I had found a home. A place where all people are recognized for the wonderful creation of God that they are!


Written by realmom

January 15, 2010 at 7:06 am

One Response

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  1. Thanks so much for these reflections; I’m grateful to those commenting about this topic…it will probably take a while to find my way with all of this, and the input is so helpful! -Christine

    Boston Mamas

    January 15, 2010 at 8:52 am

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