I`m aware that I haven`t written much on the blog of late. Part of that is because of busyness and part of it is because of an overwhelming sense of sadness in the light of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. I`m always conscious of how flippant and fun this blog can seem and it almost doesn`t feel right to be writing something so fatuous at a time like this.
As with most of my readers I have watched the news and read the papers with a mixture of incredulity and horror over what has happened. I don`t suppose I`ll ever forget the scenes of that ship caught in a whirlpool heading towards its inevitable destruction and the sense of terror that must have been amongst the passengers on it. Nor will I ever forget seeing the waters with all their filth, gunge, debris and so on gradually over coming the streets and roads of Japanese cities carrying with it no doubt helpless, trapped people.
It has been truly horrifying and I`ve remarked several times that if we had watched it in a cinema we would have remarked about the computer graphics and yet this wasnt a film dominated by mind-blowing computer techniques; no, sadly this was reality and it has left true devastation in its midst: devastation not just of property and resources, but more especially of people’s lives.
So the question needs to be asked “Where is God in all this ?” I know I cant answer the inevitable question of “Why didn`t God prevent it ?” and I certainly won`t go down the route of declaring it as Gods punishment (that’s just lacking too much in a Gospel understanding of God), but I feel that I can say with certainty that above all else the loss of life will have upset and hurt God tremendously. I believe that God would be in the middle so the devastation bringing whatever comfort and peace he could. I believe he would be in the men and women engaged in rescue work. He would be in the medical teams seeking healing and he has certainly been in the hope generated as survivors have been rescued over the last few days.
I believe in a grieving God who weeps with his people and his creation, but I also believe in a God who seeks to alleviate suffering by raising up men and women who will truly be his voice, hands, actions in the world.
Like countless others I continue to hold the people of Japan in prayer and in love.