As I sat and watched the devastation caused by the earthquake in L’Aquila, I was baffled by the gratitude of the survivors. They had thanked God for saving them. 294 Italians lost their lives in the earthquake. 20,000 Italians have been left homeless by this act of God, as it is called.
So why are these benign folk thanking the very cause of their misery? Wasn’t it the almighty, omniscient and omnipotent God who brought this tragedy on those poor Italians?
So why are they thanking him for killing those little children whose white coffins rested on the ones of their family members who had perished? What crime had these babies committed to deserve this? Why were the 294 victims being punished? Punished for what? Isn’t it absolutely presumptuous of those who survived to be thanking God for being rescued while others perished?
I remember the same mantra following the flooding of New Orleans. People were dragged out of the water and all they could say was “Thank God.” Well, it was the same God who had destroyed the lives and homes of thousands of inhabitants of New Orleans.
No wonder I will never understand the mysterious ways in which God apparently moves.