Tsunami: Faith and Fate

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God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all people. I will destroy them completely” [Genesis 6:13]. Why did God ever thought of destroying all people? Honestly, there seems to be no satisfactory answer. We might find people quoting one passage or another from the scriptures to prove that all this happens due to God?s wrath, while others might simply comfort themselves like Job saying ?The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away? (Job 1:21), or console themselves saying, ?The Lord crushes but He also binds up; though He may hurt us, but He is also our Healer? (Job 5:18). In any case, this tragedy is a wake-up call. We are alive for no merit of our own. What has happened  to them can happen to any of us at any time. In moments of darkness like this we can still walk in the bright light of the Lord in whom ?we live, move and have our being? (Acts 17:28).
 
Albert Einstein, a German-born American physicist, rightly said ?Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.? He insisted ?My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.? However, making use of many God-given talents, we can rationally argue that we humans are yet to make full use of our talents. God would not have blessed us with intelligence if not for the good of humanity. God wants us to explore the potentialities of our intelligence. After all, the deepest truths are seldom ?black and white?.
 
We live in a digital age. Science and technology invite us to stretch the limits of the possibilities and potentialities in our search and research. We saw how science and technology was able to predict and measure the direction and damage the hurricanes that hit Florida would bring. We can probably say that availability of such technology would have saved much suffering and loss of human lives and property even in South-East and South-Asia. In this sense, we can conclude that science and technology are at the service of humanity which can save and enhance the quality of human living.
 
However, from a faith perspective, we are all partners in suffering and healing. Looking at the death and destruction in South Asia, we are tempted to ask the question “why God permitted this to happen?” While we don’t have answers to many of our “WHYs,” we do know that we are able to reach out to the suffering brothers and sisters with the help of   modern technology and resources. As St. Teresa of Avila said, God has no hands and feet except ours.
 
At this time around what comes to our mind is the narration of floods at the time of Noah (Genesis 6, 7, 8). On the one hand we can’t understand the potentially dangerous power of nature, nor have we used all our abilities at the service of all humanity. However, we have seen for ourselves how people of good will are eager and generous to reach out to  the less privileged and suffering bothers and sisters who do not belong to our nation, religion, culture or language. In this sense we can say that our worst times are our best opportunities to express our solidarity with one another. This is what Christianity is all about. We may join one another in doing what we can while continuing to pray with the Psalmist ?You have shaken the land and split it open. Heal its fissures, for it shudders? (Ps. 60:2). At this troubled juncture we sincerely can learn to be truly wise. ?Teach us the shortness of our life so that we may truly be wise? (Ps 90:12), is a powerful spiritual capsule that can influence and shape our outlook toward life and reality.

Author: Fr Robert Crasta- Spiritual Animator/ amkcps