Where is God in all this?
Across our country this month we have experienced devastating disasters – flood and fire. In the anguished grief that has engulfed our community we can well ask : Why is such suffering allowed? Where is God? To the first question I do not know the answer but the answer to the second is: God is with us. God is not some super being that takes away our pain and makes everything all right. Rather in the person of Jesus we see God coming close. Jesus lived our life, suffered our sufferings, died our death so that we may share the divine life. God shares our passion.
In Jordan Rice, of Toowoomba, who sacrificed his chance of survival that his brother might live, God is with us. In the passing rescuers who risked their lives to try to save his family, God is with us. In the police swift rescue teams who saved people foolishly playing in raging waters, God is with us. In the pharmacist at Emerald who chose to fill scripts so people had their medicines rather than work to save her house, God is with us. In the police and army personnel who sift through the houses at Grantham that all bodies may be treated with respect, God is with us. In the numerous volunteers who help with the clean up, God is with us. In our leaders, who have risen to the occasion, God is with us. Whenever we see people, move out of their self-centred concerns and care for others, we see God in our midst.
I write this in the Rockhampton region. I have been amazed at how smoothly this disaster has been managed and would like to honour the public servants and civil authorities who have drawn up the Disaster Management Plans that allowed our leaders and present authorities to respond so quickly. I think especially of the engineer (sadly unnamed) who decided to rebuild the Alligator Creek bridge, north of Rockhampton, 20 centimetres higher after the 1991 flood. Because of his foresight, our region, which has 100,000 people, always had food, fuel and medicines during this crisis. In that type of care, good ordinary work by ordinary people, God is with us.
Loving God our hearts, minds and even our bodies have been bruised by the disasters that have hit our country yet we have been inspired by the generosity and goodness of so many. Send us your Spirit that we may continue to live and love generously. We ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear us
Sr Kym Harris osb