Travels of a Generic Christian

A Christian shares the joy of his walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Natural Disasters and Suffering

Something has been bothering me recently about Christian discussions on why the Haiti earthquake occurred. Such discussions are generally of great interest to me, but for some reason I’ve been feeling unable to really engage in this one. I’ve wanted to, but it just hasn’t been working.

Then last night I realized something. Looking back on the tragedy of my mother-in-law's sudden death it seems to me that suffering, though it may occur to a large group of people at once, is ultimately felt by individuals. And unless we would-be commentators are either one of the suffering or a genuine prophet, our duties are to keep our mouths closed, help when possible and, if God grant us the grace to do so, simply weep with the wounded. To analyze the cause of others’ pain from the outside is to engage in an academic exercise that switches the focus from those in need to the curiosities of a comfortable outsider. It’s hard to think of anything more insensitive, self-serving, and utterly unchristian… Forgive me Lord for how I’ve mishandled these situations in the past!