Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tragedy and Perspective

Today I was listening to a fundamentalist Christian radio station that I used to listen to quite religiously. The president of the radio station spoke briefly today about the flooding in Nashville and that a radio tower of theirs had been ruined in the flood. He addressed why bad things sometimes happen to good people with, I imagine, a shrug of his shoulders and the statement, "God sends rain on the just and the unjust alike." And he spoke about how the Enemy is always trying to undermine the work of God.

But who are the just and who are the unjust? And why use this verse to say that sometimes bad things happen to good people when Christ is speaking of our need to be impartial and prodigal in our love toward others since God is impartial and prodigal in his love toward us? How can this be both the impartiality of God and the work of the Enemy? Are they the same? I also marveled at one's confidence in proclaiming one's own work as God's work. But putting all that aside, much of what he said could be spot on. Then I realized why his statements seemed so odd to me - in tragedies by which we Christians are unaffected we don't often say, "Shit happens." (My paraphrase of the misinterpreted verse.) Though it would be an appropriate conjecture, and the more appropriate time to use it. Sometimes, tragically, we are too quick to count the tragedy that affects others as the judgment of God rather than as happenstance or as God's impartiality or even as the work of the Enemy. Perhaps we would be better served to reverse our perspectives: When tragedy strikes me, I should wonder at the judgment of God and humbly acknowledge that his judgments are just (have mercy on me, a sinner). And when tragedy strikes my neighbor, I should understand that sometimes bad things happen to good people, pray, and find a way to help.

1 comment:

kkollwitz said...

When tragedy strikes me,I just get mad at God. You're younger than me, but maybe you'll be in paradise before me.