situations like these are some of the hardest for me to fathom -- all of that suffering and death which are not easily explained away as some sort of direct consequence of bad or evil human choices. i know that God is good. i know that we live in a fallen world where sin and evil have their moments and bad things still happen to 'good' people. i know that seemingly benign, innocent human choices can put us in harm's way and that these, like all of our decisions, are honored with the dignity of real consequences. and yet i can't help wishing and praying that God would intervene. Lord, have mercy!
i believe that God does have mercy. i believe that in Jesus, God gave himself to right what is wrong in the world, to overcome evil with good, so that there would be a day when even creation itself would be set free from the bondage in which it now finds itself, and death would not have the final say. and i believe that God not only suffers for us, but that he suffers with us. this is what compassion means, and it is the heart that he gives us for all people, especially those who are vulnerable and in need.
in an embrace of that heart of compassion, our church (along with many others, i'm sure) will take an offering tomorrow toward disaster relief in japan. if that's something you'd be interested in participating in, consider a donation to a trusted relief organization like the salvation army or world vision. money and supplies will not solve the myriad problems that will be left in the wake of the huge earthquake and tsunami waves, but let's at least make a start in faith that God will multiply our five loaves and two fish -- he is able.