>I wander over to other pastor’s blogs to read, to look, to get ideas, to be inspired, to learn, to pray. There’s a lot of good stuff out there once you get through the bad stuff out there. This morning I looked over at The Naked Pastor. This is a blog by David Hayward who calls himself a “free range pastor” with a lot of life experiences in mainline and off-the-mainline churches. He’s also quite an artist with his cartoons telling a story.
I want to reference the cartoon here:
About this cartoon he writes:
This cartoon was provoked by something I saw on Facebook yesterday. Someone was thanking God for healing someone. They said something like, “God is awesome! We serve a God who always answers prayer!” Or something like that. I immediately thought of all the people who simply couldn’t say that. At least not now. This picture popped into my mind of the two realities that can be experienced in adjacent hospital rooms: one has just lost someone and is in complete anguish; the other has regained someone and is ecstatic. I’m not arguing whether one is right and the other is wrong. I’m just suggesting that sometimes we are grossly unaware of the pain and suffering of this world for most people. Sometimes including ourselves.
Back when we lived in New York, there was a subway or train crash down in the city. I frankly don’t remember how many persons were killed. It was a long time ago. But, as I remember it, there was at least one fatality.
What I remember vividly, however, was the television interview of one of the survivors. This person was overjoyed to be alive and well with persons hurt at the scene. And she said, “Well I guess I just had my angels looking out for me.” And I don’t know how old I was a the time, but those words seemed to cut me. I remember thinking, “Well, where were the angels for all the other people? Why were there no angels there for them?”
While we do want to celebrate God’s goodness, God’s mercy, God’s protection, we need to be cautious that we don’t say more than we can. We really don’t know why it is that some will walk away from tragedies as survivors…why some survive earthquakes while others don’t, why the IED explodes under one tank and not the other, why one person is OK in a crash while the person next tho them dies, or, as in the cartoon, why one room in a hospital sees healing and another does not. We don’t know this.
All we can do is thank God for his care…while avoiding words that make God seem care-less with others.