My heart is breaking today.
I was near tears earlier after reading a message from a friend I made in Nepal, begging me to send money to her so her family could eat. They have just lost their house completely after the earthquake. Her parents both have broken bones and they cannot afford food.
I remember going to her house, which is now no longer. It sat on top of the most beautiful mountain I’d ever seen, and we took a winding trek to get there through long grass and skinny trails. Once we reached the top, the view was breathtaking and she introduced us to her mother who served us tea. She showed us the baby goats they raised on the property.
Now this home is in ruins, its bricks likely spilled across the earth like odd puzzle pieces.
I still have yet to hear from other friends I made in Nepal. I don’t even know if they are alive.
I’m finding it hard to continue my life as normal here, knowing that people I know on the other side of the world are struggling to just survive. What does the balance look like? What else can I do besides pray and donate finances? And where does God fit into all of this?
Tragedies like the earthquakes in Nepal are near impossible to understand, especially from a worldly perspective. A common question that comes up when tragedy strikes is Why would a “loving” God allow this to happen? Some use tragedy as a reason to deny God’s existence. Others say God uses disasters to punish people. Some claim that none of it is God’s will and though He allows them to happen, He does not will them happen. There are hundreds of answers, or lack of answers depending on who you ask.
I don’t have the answer either.
But I do know that God’s heart is breaking over his people more than mine is. More than the people in Nepal. And more than all of our breaking hearts combined. His heart created ours and He hurts when we hurt. (John 11:35)
I remember a conversation I had with a friend. She was talking to me about how some people ask, “Why doesn’t God stop these things from happening? Why doesn’t he save us from natural disasters or attacks?” What I said in response, I didn’t even mean to say, but the words fell out of my mouth in a way that I knew they weren’t my own. I said something along the lines of “Whose to say that God hasn’t saved us from natural disasters and tragedy? If today we live our lives as normal, when in reality today was supposed to be a day where disaster hit, we would never know it. My bet is that every day that something tragic does not happen in our lives—is a blessing in itself. God is protecting us.”
This doesn’t provide a reason for why bad things happen to innocent people. I don’t know why these things happen. But if there is anything positive that can come form tragedy, it’s Love. Since God is Love, He will be what motivates care, aid and blessing toward those suffering from tragedy. His Love will be shown in unique ways.
Though instances like these present death and pain and suffering, they also provide a unique opportunity to Love and receive Love. They provide a need for a great Hope to be put in out Creator.
It’s a call to the church, in reality. Sufferings of others are not meant to be ignored by believers. If we are really the church, and we are really living with Holy Spirit in us, then it is our responsibility and calling to Love others through Jesus.
It’s easy to be flustered or overwhelmed when tragedy strikes, but the following advice is one that I want to live my life by:
When you don’t know what to do, do what Love requires of you.
Love conquers all. And Love is all we have to give to others. I encourage you to pray not only for Nepal and other countries and people under great suffering (America included), but to pray for opportunities to Love them. Then take those opportunities and follow God’s leading, letting Him love His children through you. We are vessels for God to Love his beloved people through, believers or not. I pray that His Great Love will be shown in full toward the people of Nepal in the days and years to come.