I just finished checking out the “Lens” blog from the New York Times. Today’s post is “On Assignment: Prayers in the Dark”, revealing some of the most horrific images I’ve ever seen (If you jump to the blog, you’ve been warned). Damon Winters of the New York Times says, “I’ve never seen anything like this, and I doubt I’ll see anything like this again. The scene at the morgue today was just utterly unbelievable.”
Like many people, I’ve asked myself why God allows something like this to happen? I was ashamed of Pat Robertson’s comments this week about God cursing the Haitian people. I’m sure it only confirms for many people that a Christian God is a vengeful God, bent on causing humanity to suffer for their sins. Do you know what came to my mind as I viewed those images? Something I once read in Elie Wiesel’s book, Night, based on his time in a Nazi concentration camp. One day he watches a young boy hanged by the Nazis. In his head Weisel hears, “Where is He [God]? Here He is–He is hanging here on this gallows.”
“Why does God allow this to happen?”, I don’t have any easy answers, only more questions. Elie Wiesel reminds me that we’re not alone, this world is not alone. As Jürgen Moltmann has expressed, God is not impassable, he is present with us even in the darkest moments of this planet—he’s a suffering God, a crucified God. Does it give any meaning to what has happened in Haiti? Probably not, but he is with us in our suffering, weeping with us, mourning with us. His tears are real, they are for all of us. God is with us.