It has got to be the third person in the last two weeks that has asked me about the existence of God in light of the tragedy in Haiti. The last words I heard before I walked out of that Starbucks were "How can a good god exist and allow these things to happen, a god like that has no place in this world". As I reflected upon what I judge to be an honest angry statement I was reminded of another episode just last week. It happened here at my own church during a presbytery meeting.
At that meeting a Haitian movement leader updated us of the situation in Port Au Prince in the aftermath of the 7.2 earthquake. At the occasion he said that the situation was much worse than what has been reported by the American TV networks. Out of his own suffering he shared the fact that he had lost 10 of his pastors, all of their church buildings and many of their church members. He said that there was no food, scarcity of gas to transport whatever supplies they could gather from the DR or other immediate towns, tons of orphans roaming the streets and a lot of violence. But in the midst of all the destruction around them the church remained strong. He said that every single night sounds of prayers and songs are heard through out the desolated streets of the city. That in the midst of immense suffering people are turning to God more than they are turning to nations and to other human beings.
Interesting. Here we have one of the greatest catastrophes of history and then we have two kinds of people. Those who are mere spectators and those who are living in it. On one side you have those, like myself that can drive into a Stbx and pay $4 for a cup of coffee and then go home and watch what's going on on TV and then you have those who are actually there. A fool like the one I encountered today who can afford to have a comfortable life asks the question that the homeless, orphan, hungry, mutilated is not asking on the other side. They usually never do. On this side of the tragedy people are using what happened to run away from God while victims are desperately running to God. To me if someone had the right to ask the question; it would be the Haitian people. Except, they are not.
I've heard it say that "atheism ends at the grave" and I guess that's true for both types of people.