First Haiti, now Chile. This is even a larger earthquake 8.8 and there have been so many large aftershocks some as large as 6.3. Those of us who were in California in January1994 for the Northridge quake remember that it was 6.7. That means the Chile quake was more than 200 times as powerful! Similar to the Northridge quake this recent one in Chile hit in the middle of the night. That was probably some blessing rather than have people out on the streets and driving.
It is early. And the death toll will no doubt rise. But at least there is a strong government in Chile. This is so different from the deep poverty and chaos of Haiti. And there is still so much chaos in Haiti more than a month later. Let us pray that the world will send what help the strong Chilean people need.
Chile’s economy has been based on its copper exports and increasingly on its rich bounty of agriculture. Though it also has been affected by the world-wide economic crisis, its copper industry revenues has helped cushion the blow a bit for the country. But Chile has a history of quakes. It like Hawaii sits on the Pacific’s Ring of Fire and it is no surprise that there has been such a powerful quake there.
But each time there is such a natural disaster of such great proportions inevitably someone asks “Where was God in the earthquake?” Certainly the Bible uses natural disasters in its language of punishment from God. The ancients were trying like we are to make sense of tragedy. But God is not sitting on a Throne moving the tectonic plates of the earth. The science of earthquakes tells us how it happened and even why.
But we long to find the meta-context and meaning for such tragedies beamed especially into our living room by CNN.
For me I find God in the caring for the injured and the dead. I find God in the wisdom of the doctors and the response of the world. I find God in the human efforts to rebuild ruined cities and in the coping with new circumstance. I find God in the resilience of the human spirit!
So just as we did for Haiti let us respond with compassion. Sending aid and help. In our day and age-our neighborhoods are global. And we are called to see our neighbors in the Southern hemisphere rebuild as we pray and help the people of Haiti rebuild. Let’s get to it. God is calling us!