Recently I have seen headlines of what happened in the Philippines such as:
“The number of people in the Philippines confirmed dead from Typhoon Haiyan now stands at 3,631, officials say.”
“In all, the council said more than nine million people had been affected, including 1,871,321 who had been displaced.”
“There is hunger in Tacloban”
“In the Philippine city of Tacloban, devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, survivors wait for aid and worry about the future”
I also had a friend of mine ask me “Where is God in the Philippines?”
I am not qualified to attempt answering that question. Yet I will try
I am still young and still learning a lot in this life. Yet I will share my humble beliefs and thoughts.
I may be wrong. In that case, forgive me.
Maybe this piece doesn’t help anyone. Yet, I will write to clarify my own beliefs.
What has happened in Philippines is devastating! It is heart breaking.
And sadly for many (even myself at times); they just seem like statistics.
We live in times of numbers and statistics and yet how many of us are getting number to them? (Therein lies a tragedy itself!)
So how do we even try and understand disaster?
Of systems in place / a wild world / we’re the guests
I have always had this belief that we’re the guests here on planet earth.
That in fact planet earth is a very wild place. It too is very beautiful.
Our world has been wonderfully created with some profound systems set in place.
A seed is put in a ground and a few years later a massive tree stands. Wow!
And as the seasons go by the tree goes through phases. In autumn, the leaves fall to the ground.
Those leaves die and create nutrients for the soil and bugs.
What I just mentioned is one of many systems that have been set in place.
We as humans are skin and bones (and obviously a whole bunch of other organs)
One of our systems set in place is that when we scrape our knee, it will bleed.
I don’t get pissed off when I get carpet burn after I play indoor football.
It’s part of the system of my body.
When I was younger (a child) and I would fall of my bike and some blood would appear; my parents wouldn’t be angry with God.
It in a sense is part of life. As a child I would have learnt to be more cautious the next time.
On a bigger scale, I remember learning about continental plates in Geography. I was fascinated.
These plates shift ever so slightly every year, however, we know “its common knowledge” that when two things rub together, there will be some sort of friction.
Now, when these massive plates create friction bigger things occur:
E.g. Tsunamis and earthquakes
We live in a wild world. Yet we live in a beautiful world.
Surfers love the ocean. There is something so amazing about riding an incredible wave.
Surfers also know of the danger of sharks.
Some surfers have been killed or disabled by sharks.
Surfers and sharks share the sea.
Surfers know they are the guest among those waves.
Of poor government decisions / lack of help
I really feel cautious in writing my thoughts (because I can be ignorant) In my mere 33 years I still have lots to understand and discover.
I think before we point at God.
We need to point at Governments and those who run countries…
It’s is NOT RIGHT to allow people to live in flood plains and tornado belts and areas that are prone to disaster.
Yes, some of those people who live in those areas are poor and have NO choice.
But then let’s blame governments who DON’T ALLOW them choice.
Simply, dangerous areas, should not be inhabited! Governments need to start caring properly.
Some places have some protective measures. In the States where there are lots of tornadoes; most plots have a basement (a storm shelter) where they can hide out.
HOWEVER ideally people should NOT live in those areas.
-I reiterate that we are GUESTS on this planet!-
Typical humankind, trying to push our weight around…
Of witnessing a miracle in tragedy
So I guess this blog hardly even suffices for the questions and pain we have with disaster and how we see God in it if at all…
I hope to have brought some clarity with the little I know.
I did notice in the reports of the disaster… a miracle.
The miracle that people started CARING for others.
Pity it took disaster for them to REALISE…
I smiled at this sentence “One week after the storm, food and supplies are now beginning to reach survivors, but aid agencies say the logistics of distribution are enormous”
Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that miraculous? People helping others…