31 October 2012

Where is God when disaster happens?

God's heart is the first to break.

I say this often at the jail. Tales of disappointment, woe, grief, rage. All of these usually bring the question, "Where is God in all this?" In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that has devastated Haiti and Cuba and the eastern third of the US, and now trails on into Canada, there are no answers but this: God's heart is the first to break.

Many years ago, there was a short-lived TV show. I've long since forgotten the name, but in one of the first episodes, there was a conversation between a man and a priest. The man was cynical, bitter, made a flippant comment about God.

The priest, young, earnest, and female, asked him about his attitude. Why was he like this?

He didn't answer at first, but finally came the story. His wife, a journalist in the Middle East, had been killed by a car bomb. He death devastated him. "Where was God when she died?"

The priest didn't answer for a long time.

Later, when they met again, she said to him, "When your wife died, God's heart was the first to break."

Listening to stories at the jail, it's not hard to think of God sitting down on the sidewalk or in the sand, holding this Beloved Child, and heaving great sobs of grief. God's heart is the first to break.     

I pray that everyone who listens to the grief of another has that same openness of heart.


3 comments:

Fran said...

God's heart was the first to break... those words will stay on my own heart.

Sherry Peyton said...

Such a sweet statement. Life seems a bit more fragile than usual these last few days. Thank you for a perfect mantra for this moment.

Tamara Swerline said...

God's heart was the first to break... even so, AMEN!