I apparently have relatives over in Mississippi, but I can’t say I really know anyone personally over there. But being that my dad was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, and my grandparents made their life over there before moving to Connecticut, and then to here, has made our family watch the news a little bit closer. Before this happened, this is where my dad kept saying he wanted to move to. Prices are low, jazz is playing all over the place, and people live simple lives sipping lemonade on their front porches. This was my dad’s kind of living. So to see his beloved town wiped off the map has hurt him to the core. And it’s hard when something like this happens as far as faith goes, because it just hurts so much to see the destruction and the pain it has caused for those people who lost everything, and you wonder why God has to let things like this happen. Someone left a comment on my blog a couple days ago about my God being mean. And I didn’t ignore this comment, I just needed to ponder it for a bit.
I do not believe my God is mean. I have been given things, then had them snatched away, like my son, and it took suffering through that and then emerging triumphant on the other side to see God’s positive works in all things. What has happened in Biloxi, and in all the other areas, is heartwrenching. It is unimaginably devastating. I cannot even fathom what our own team of helpers are about to witness as they get closer and closer to Louisiana to be of aid in this mess. I cannot empathize with those that lost everything in the blink of an eye, because I was given a home to live in when I lost mine, and gained more than I lost. But when you look closely, you see a little bit of green life right there amongst the dirt and the evil and the suffering. I received another comment on that same post from a diarist I lurk on, saying that he lost his aunt and uncle in this tragedy. But his post didn’t speak of God’s unfairness. It spoke of what is going on all around this nation. Something so simple as remembering what it was like to pray. And while I’ve been waiting and waiting to find the perfect words to rebut against claims that “my” God is mean, this was all I needed. And this is what the miracles all start from. Praying.
A church still meets regularly, praising God for being alive even though they have lost everything. An 18 year caring for a group of children until they are reunited with their family, and all allowed something as wonderful as getting their hair done for free in a salon. News reporters laying down their microphones and saving lives. A group of would be thugs, averted by the police when they were made aware of the destruction around them, and changing their tactics to include rescuing others rather than looting. A woman happy as can be, praising God for blessing her, as her home is almost completely under water. People reaching deep into their pockets, giving until it hurts. Others taking time out of their lives to actually be there in the southern states, wanting to do anything to ease the pain of our brothers and sisters. People offering their homes or hotel rooms to house those fortunate enough to make it out of there, and not giving a time limit. And praying. Lots and lots of praying.
Jesus is all over the TV. Jesus is in our minds. Even when we are asking him “why”, we are acknowledging his presence. And why? I am still only human, I am not God. I do not have all the answers. But something tells me a small portion of it is the humanity that has come out of it. A community, a state, a country, a world!, are all being pulled together in this time of crisis. People are counting their blessings. Suddenly, in this huge world, we are all revealed to be small, and we are all equal. And the hurt touches us in our hearts, even when we are away from the severity of this destruction.
My God is not mean. My God is love. And I know this because through all of this I have seen so much love pouring out of this world.