Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The times (part 2)

I expect there have always been natural disasters. But when a big one happens, you start tallying up the recent ones—and it seems they are happening with greater frequency.
We have the triple whammy of earthquake, tsunami, and radiation from Japan, and then we immediately remember New Zealand, China, and the monster in Haiti. Then, not that long ago was the huge and deadly earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia and the Indian Ocean. It’s easy to see a trend, to say that these disasters are another way that times are changing.
If we aren’t diligently killing off people through war, we are seeing it happen through ‘Acts of God’.

Are things getting worse? Are we approaching the end of the world? Is God trying to tell us something? Some Christians seem to think that these disasters give them a great soapbox to deliver a message of God’s judgment. Or is there a certain amount of blame to be placed back on us, the energy hungry Western world?

What do we do, what can we learn? Do we use these catastrophes as an opportunity to preach, or to get involved, to actually care? Or do we thank God that it didn’t happen to us, make a token donation, and carry on with our daily, consumptive lives.
I’m not trying to promote pat answers here, just some more thinking. For us on the West Coast, we realize again how little control we have over nature, and news of another earthquake tends to shake us out of our lethargy (at least for a few days). Maybe this time we will get more prepared for our own disaster, and really work towards making a difference where the need is the greatest.

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