It seems to me that people like Jeremy Clarkson, columnist in the Sun, and many others like him, have every right to direct their anger against God in light of S E Asian tragedy this week, but to those of us trying to make sense of all this and give comfort and assistance where and when we can, his comments are not helpful.
I understand he probably thinks he needs to be the voice for many people devastated by the killer tsunami waves. But does it occur to him, that we, (him included) who could be the ones at fault and not God? Not only that but it is the ‘nature of Nature,’ not to be tamed. Suffering and pain are inbuilt into its system, right into the natural process if there is to be life at all. God does not will destruction! God does not seek to torture us by it!
The world is constantly being renewed, and by that regeneration it replaces elements we need. Our planet would be a barren place, without its natural processes of renewal. Unfortunately that which works towards the equilibrium of the system isn’t always a benevolent force to the human race. Never has been.
So why not point the finger at us instead? Look at our complete disregard for the care of our planet, of the gradual destruction of the ozone layer which is affecting weather systems, our consumerism, our greed, our lack of care for justice in the world, our failure to provide warning systems to register earthquakes in poorer areas, our blinkered attitude to the world's poor, even allowing people to actually live on dangerous and dodgy ground i.e. fault lines, flood plains etc., and then there's our lack of real and consistent generosity to those in need. The money raised and given by this country of £50m, and the public's offerings of £50m sounds impressive, but put this alongside our expenditure on war, and even something as trivial as the £5bn spending predicted in the January Sales, it's peanuts really.
I believe God’s grace is always at work, especially in the midst of our greatest difficulties, and despite our rebelliousness. Sometimes His grace is hidden when life is going well. Tragedy opens our eyes to His presence in ways that good times never can. It is during the difficult times that we recognize that He is always present and powerful and that even death cannot keep us from Him.
Consider, for a moment, that right in the midst of this enormous tragedy this week, we have all heard admirable stories of what God, who is in us, can achieve when lives are lived which display the real nature of his love and sacrifice.
It is in these people that we see God face to face.
British fireman heroically diving into the swollen water many times to save lives.
The Thai poor who, even though they had lost members of their own family, sought instead to assist and give comfort to tourists.
A trainee doctor assisting in hospital which was inundated with dead bodies and the injured.
Volunteers choosing to stay and assist rather than come home.
Young girl's geography lesson knowledge of tsunamis, saves the lives of 100 people.
More realistic giving, in Britain £1m every hour in two days. Can this be maintained long term is the question.
Peace between Tamil Tigers and their enemies, both sides joining together in the rescue effort.
In India, man wearing Osama Bin Laden T shirt going to the aid of people he once saw as opponents.
New sense of brotherhood across the globe.
Orderly and respectful New Year celebrations, with two minute silences upheld.
Jeremy why not use your pen to promote positive challenges to us all, you are in the position to do that, then this could be a year to change things once and for all.