Saturday, September 03, 2005

Why Does God Send Stickers?

Last weekend I was picking stickers from a spot in my yard. My five year old daughter was outside with me, and she asked

Why Does God Send Stickers?

Why indeed. Why does God send Hurricanes? Why suffering, etc, etc.

My wife works on Saturdays, so I am again here hangin' out with my daughter. Everything seems so normal. TCU was playing Oklahoma on TV, my daughter is taking a bath, it's 90 degrees outside. Normal all the way around.

But in New Orleans there are hundreds of thousands of shattered lives. Many will never return to the area. A bunch will, no doubt.

The study of God and suffering, I believe is called theodicy. Actually, theodicy is more the question of why God would allow evil in the world, but human suffering is wrapped up in it.

Maybe it's easier to ask what life would be like if we had no suffering. How would we grow stronger? Why would we need God at all? I've been through some tough stuff. Each disaster made me stronger. Is that the purpose of suffering?

Will all of this suffering make New Orleans stronger? Perhaps the people involved will become stronger, but I doubt New Orleans will become stronger. It didn't after the 1927 disaster that befell it. I suspect that the city is in for an extremely bumpy ride. Tourists, the major source of revenue for the city, are probably going to choose another destination, at least for the forseeable future. Companies that haven't already left are likely to do so now. The suffering, albeit in a different way, will likely continue for some time.

I don't know what the answer is. We do what we can do. I'm going to read C.S. Lewis' A Grief Observed to see if I can garner any wisdom.

My answer to my daughter: "That's a very good question, sweetie ... I don't know..."

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