(photo courtesy marc sandrow)
With the tragedy of Haiti, like those before of Katrina and 9-11 and Madrid and the Congo and Rwanda and Holocausts before and on and on, once again people ask (who have these beliefs): How can God allow such things to happen? (Spoiler Alert to Pat Robertson) God doesn’t allow these things to happen. We do.
Then why does God stand by and ‘watch’ such pain and suffering? My guess is a part of S/He/God grieves deeply that humanity uses the greatest gift it has — freewill — to choose to constantly look the other way.
Perhaps God would prefer that His/Her children would one day grow up and quit asking for Divine Intervention, finally understanding that WE are the hands and feet and voice and hearts of God. WE are the tools of the Divine.
Perhaps a loving God loves everything and everyone unconditionally, so much so that He/She/God must sometimes allow — not create — great and terrible events in order to wake us up to our birthright as beings capable of extraordinary love and compassion — before it’s too late.
Though my guess is that a part of God is growing weary of our seemingly unending adolescence.
We — rightly so — express our shock and horror at an event such as that which devastated Haiti. Our collective hearts go out to the victims, as does our charity. Thank God.
But the fact is that Haiti was devastated long before this earthquake, by poverty and lack of education and AIDS and all forms of corruption. And we turned a blind eye. As we have with genocide in Africa and poverty in Central and South America, as we have with a million other horrors around the globe and in our own backyards. It’s all business as usual, even when that business-as-usual is devastating our own neighborhoods through lost jobs and foreclosures, while corporate America robs the bank — and us.
As I was watching an online video of the agonizing rescue attempts in Haiti, I was interrupted by commercials for a sleep drug and a TV comedy show. As human beings (and I include network and corporate executives in this category), can we not take a single breath from buying and selling, long enough to try and make a genuine connection with our human neighbors? To heal our wounds? (And credit card companies just HAVE to take 3 per cent of every dollar we give to crisis relief.)
Have our lives and the tragedy of most of the world — including the destroyed environment — really become just another diversion between commercials and Amazon.com?
Perhaps the financial collapse was ‘God’ warning us: Pay attention to where your wealth goes. Perhaps Katrina was ‘God’ saying: Pay attention to your communities. Perhaps 9-11 was ‘God’ saying the world is a small place and the old way of settling differences will no longer work. Perhaps global warming is ‘God’ saying you can’t keep turning your only home into sludge pond. Perhaps Haiti is ‘God’s’ way of saying: this land — your brothers and sisters — needed help long ago.
And perhaps we are God and a part of us has just about had enough of the other part of us that doesn’t yet understand the Survival Truth that we are our sisters and our brother’s keepers. That what happens to the least of us will eventually happen to all of us.
When will we quit waiting for the next disaster to happen in order to open our hearts to act — and simply ACT?