Destination or Consequence

Posted: June 15, 2010 in Uncategorized
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A tragedy has happened in El Salvador. A strong earthquake has killed many people. There are many injured people and their houses have been destroyed. They need to begin to live outdoors during the cold nights. Children are suffering more than adults are. The earthquake leaves an anguish of an uncertain future. The earth continues shaking and people are scared. Many cities are desolate their people have fled to safe places that the government has designated. The images are horrible: pain, sorrow, and sadness. Whole families have disappeared; an old woman lost her five children when their house fell down on them.  While the days are passing the news coming from the whole country and the conviction that the catastrophe is bigger than we thought.

To live in this country is always hard work. In this country, half of the people are poor. Another half live with difficulties that get worse when this catastrophes happen. The tragedy has been terrible for poor people. Now everybody talks about poverty in this country, but after a few days, the poverty will be forgotten for other interests. Some people who did not lose anything are asking, if the economy will fall down or, when people should be worried for the future of the victims.

It is easier to write about tragedy and evil than life and goodness. Briefly, we can say that in the middle of the tragedy life continues. People walking or in very damaged cars, carrying things on their heads and their children in their arms. The poor people know that it is a catastrophe and they need to be assisted. They wait for help from others and when they receive it; they cooperate.

With this sorrow, many questions come from people. All of them linked to God. Is God punishing us for our sins? The suffering is not a divine judgment for the sins of human beings. We cannot point to a suffering person as a bad person. The suffering comes from nature.

We can add that human beings’ misfortunes, at this time caused by earthquakes, are caused by physic forces not under human control and they effect bad and good people. The dead people were no more sinners than the people that survive. Therefore, the earthquakes and others natural disasters are not God’s punishments. We are more sinners when there are suffering people and we do not do anything to help them.

Some people can say, “God can use natural phenomenon to punish wrong situations as he did with Egyptians and the ten plagues”. It is right God can use it, but He is more identified with victims than the natural event.  God is holy, righteous, and just. God allows us to experience the consequences of our choices, but he never inflicts pain or humiliation just because of that choice.  However, some people argue that all these disaster are mentioned in the Bible; it means we are close to the end of the world.  Then, everything has a time to happen, God knows the time. Can we do something to avoid something planned by God? We can say that the earth has a process. Disasters have happened frequently in the past, but something is different now. The rivers, oceans, and the air are more contaminated than before. Moreover, our planet’s forests had been destroyed.  People look to live comfortably without paying attention to the bad actions that they do. For example, people cut down many trees to build malls or beautiful apartments. If our planet is changing and the results are bad, the big responsibility is ours.


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