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Haiti's hour of need

Published:Friday | January 15, 2010 | 12:00 AM


The Editor, Sir:

In the wake of Tuesday's natural disaster in Haiti two instinctive responses are likely. All, I hope, will seek to find ways of helping to alleviate the suffering of our Haitian friends. Some Christians may begin to wonder about the devastating earthquake as a 'sign' or judgement from God.

Let's resist this second response and remember how Jesus countered a similar line of sloppy thinking re two incidents in Luke 13 vs 1-5.

Two instances

The first incident: When he was informed of some people from Galilee who were slaughtered at the command of the governmental agent, Procurator Pontius Pilate, while they were sacrificing animals in worship in Jerusalem. The second incident: 18 people killed in the natural disaster of the toppled tower in Siloam.

When tragedy strikes, especially a natural disaster, we should simply be reminded that we are in a broken, imperfect world of cause and effect (natural laws). God is not necessarily punishing anyone or saying anything to anyone through the tragedy.

All of us are subject to misfortunes and tragedies in life. We will never know the unreal luxury of never experiencing suffering and pain in this life - no matter how blood-washed, Spirit-filled or holy we think we are. Humans, saved and unsaved alike get ill, face misfortune, even experience tragedy, and short of the return of Jesus, 100 per cent of us will experience death.

Redirect our minds

Very godly and very spiritual brethren have suffered loss and some have died as a result of the catastrophe in Haiti. Let us redirect our minds and hearts and pray for comfort and strength for all Haitians at home and abroad.

So that we take a more biblical perspective on this catastrophe in Haiti, let us remember the unusual tragedy that struck the godly Job, the unrelieved suffering that the Apostle Paul prayed about, and our Lord's agony in the garden of Gethsemane.

God is still in charge even when tragedy strikes. Praise Him, anyhow.

I am, etc.,