Christmas Day was a day of happiness and joy throughout the world as Christians welcomed the Christ child, the babe of Bethlehem. Gifts were shared. Meals were festive. Love was rampant. December 26th was an entirely different day. Deep within the bowels of the earth tectonic plates moved. Destructive waves were produced which sped across miles of open seas to wreak havoc on close and distant shores. On that day over 150,000 people - men, women and children - met their God in moments of catastrophic horror. Only God Himself knows how many human beings perished on thattragic day. Irreparable harm was done to land masses, but far worse were and continuesto be the suffering of so many families.
The initial response of so many throughout the world was the question “How could a loving God do this?” To blame God seemed an answer to so many. A much simpler answer is to blame nature but nature is not a person and it seems so easy to place blame on a person rather than on a thing. For many the only person who could wield somuch power is God and, therefore, God is to blame, hence the phrase “an act of God” to cover a catastrophe. While it is true that God may have allowed it. He didn’t cause it. He wants only good thing for his children.
Rather than dwell on the cause over which we have no power, we should dwell onour response. For the response is and remains life giving. The outpouring of nations andindividuals has been overwhelming. The love we shared on Christmas Day spilled over in acts of care, concern and sharing we have seldom seen in our lifetime. 9/11’s memory was alive in our reaction. As Americans we have reason to be proud of our nationalresponse. Men and women of our armed forces arrived on the scenes of desolation tobring succor and solace to the suffering. Food and water and shelter were provided quickly and continue to this day. The dead were buried with respect and care. Words of comfort and condolence were shared. But, more importantly, we have seen a tremendous outpouring of love. From the rich and poor alike have come millions of dollars to aid in the relief efforts. From the hearts of adults and children have come prayers for the deceased and for the survivors. Most of those who died and those who survive are Muslims, but the Christian and Jewish response has been to our brothers and sisters for we are all God’s children. Out of adversity and tragedy have come love, care and respect. It is a response in which all of us can take justifiable pride.