Where is the God of love?

This reading first appeared in The Inquirer, Issue 8054, March 2023

I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these
(Isaiah 45: 6-7)
I am all-powerful Time which destroys all things. (Bhagavad Gita 11: 32)
Wherever you be, death will overtake you: though you put yourselves in lofty towers. (Qur’an 4:78)

In the face of earthquake, wind and fire,
the disasters we call ‘natural’,
we turn to prayers of desperation,
prayers for deliverance.
Is there ever an answer?

It sometimes seems so,
and we call it a miracle.
But such miracles are all too few.
So where is God in the midst of disaster?
Where is the God of love?

Within nature? In the vast and empty void,
insouciant and unfeeling?
It hardly seems so.

But there is a strange and wonderful potential
in the Great Mystery.
We see it revealed in humanity as love
and courage, compassion and wisdom,
mercy and integrity…

It is where we find and recognise
Divine Love, the transcendent
spiritual reality that redeems our
weak humanity and our cold,
indifferent universe.

God is not the Deus Ex Machina ,
emerging from nowhere to stop
the earth from shaking, the towers from falling,
the disasters from happening.

That is not what God is.
God is in the people, not above them.
God is in the rescuers, the relief workers,
the medics, the selfless volunteers, the
men and women digging in the rubble
with their bare hands…

And God is in the generosity and heartfelt
sympathy of people far away, doing, giving
what they can. God is in the true miracle
of human goodwill. This is where prayers
are answered and God is made flesh.

The love of God acts in the loving deeds
of humanity.
The voice of God speaks in the call of
conscience, the call to care.

And it speaks against the weakness that
is human corruption and dishonesty,
meanness and selfishness, ignorance
and folly…: the evils which make a
natural disaster so much worse.

Where is God when disaster strikes?
Within human hearts that love their
neighbours wherever they may be.
May our hearts be among them.

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