The foamboard in my front yard spoke to me. The yellow fiberglass insulation told a story.
I don’t know whose damaged or destroyed home those leftover bits and pieces came from, but they are a reminder of suffering and death in the wake of the tornadoes that went through several states last Friday.
In Batavia, a town just west of here, someone found storm debris that contained papers labeled with the name of the town of Nabb, Indiana. Nabb is part of the Henryville/Marysville area that was utterly devastated by the storms. Nabb is also just over a 100 miles west of Batavia. That’s 100 miles.
I’m glad that Pat Robertson does not live in our area. I’m sure he’d have something to say about these storms that I’d later have to apologize for on behalf of other Christians.
I hate it when the news media find some blowhard believer who can’t wait to have his or her opinion heard by the masses. How the media routinely uncover the worst representative of the Christian faith to comment on disasters is a gift, though one of the worst giftings I can think of.
When the “media” of Jesus’ day stuck a figurative microphone under His nose in an attempt to get a pithy comment from Him on recent disasters, this is what He said:
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
People are always trying to make sense of disasters. Truth is, disaster is part and parcel of a world steeped in human sin. If anything, our perspective should instead be one of gratefulness to God that anything good can come out of the mess we have made. Into that mess came Jesus, who offered Himself as a living sacrifice for sin and showed us by His actions how to show mercy to others.
So here is what I wish we would say and do when confronted with disaster: Show mercy to the survivors and remind everyone that disaster can come upon anyone at any time, and unless we repent, we will all likewise perish.
That’s all. Don’t add to that. Show mercy and remind of repentance. End of comment.
God will see fit to fill in everything else.