Are you asking why? I am. I do regularly when things happen that that hurt and leave me a mangled.
My problem is that I don’t ever get too far past that question.
And I’m guessing that there are many people in Australia and the world over for whom the question ‘why’ is a regular and relentless visitor.
As a follower of Jesus I am not immune to pain and grief and doubt. The questions come
- What have I done to deserve this?
- Why did this happen?
- Is this how God works?
- Where is God in all of this?
Those questions were driven home with even more intensity this morning as I learned of a Melbourne Pastor who has announced his view that the fires in Victoria are a result of that state’s abortion laws. I am no supporter of abortion, but these words are ugly.
Reading them made me sick. Right in the gut. Angry. And very, very sad.
That voice sounds so arrogant, insensitive, and judgemental. It is devoid of all hope and grace. It reminds me of fingernails running down the blackboard: just stop it. It is callous and heartless. It perpetuates the pain of this tragedy.
And then I got thinking about the big question: ‘where is God in all of this?’
While I’m wary of platitudes, I think there’s something in the Bible’s picture of a seeking God, who risks his own comfort and safety to go after the lost and the broken.
So here is my portrait, for what it’s worth…
I saw Jesus this morning. You may disagree, and others may doubt. But I saw Jesus. I did.
He’s the fellow in the orange suit, the red goggles, the gloves, and the big hard hat.
He was standing there, leaning forward against the pressure of the water.
Beating back the flames.
Now, his face is blistered and burned from the heat.
He’s feeling spent.
But he’s there to save people, to fight fire. To turn back hell on itself.
He’s the bloke wiping the sweat from his brow. Staring. Cuppa in his hand, it’s tipping a little, like he has no strength left.
And you can see the tracks of his tears down the blackened, dirty cheeks.
See the pilot of the Ericson Aircrane dousing the flames with water?
Did you see the woman, weeping on the shoulder of another, because her husband had died?
Or the policewoman, with the mask to her face, looking into the shell of the burnt out car. What is she holding back?
Or the ambo, holding the mask to the guy with the badly burned arm.
Or in every one of the $15m currently pledged from one man to his mate.
This is where God is. At the rescue’s front line. Bringing hope. And a new beginning out of hell’s inferno. He’s been in this business a long time. And we shouldn’t be surprised to see him show up the way he does.