God and the Tsunami (Honey)
A site well worth exploring that was recently introduced to me is www.ted.com. Running a search for "God", I found some great 18 minute lectures including this one by Todd Honey of England. A vickery for 20 years in the Church of England, Honey has grappled often with the nature of God. When "God" is mentioned, many people still think of a celestial maker, polliceman or protector. The most frequently used adjective in his church is Almighty. But Honey seems to have a problem with that. Some actually believe that God sometimes expresses himself through powerlessness. When the tsunami hit years ago, Honey found himself in an awkward position wanting to express himself differently than one might expect. He had found an article in the paper where the writer said that the people most affected by the tide didn't want a theological reason why God would allow this to happen. The only appropriate response would be silence and practical help. It is a time for tears. But those further from the disaster have a damaged faith and want something more. In some way, the eternal God must be able to enter our souls and experience the pain. But if that is true, He must also be able to experience our joy and celebration as well. But this is contrary to the "Unchanging God" of tradition where God seems to be unaffected and further away. We feel that if God is a bystander, then he doesn't deserve our allegiance and we would rather not even know about Him. But if He is here with us, we just need to know more about His nature and how He works with us. There was a song Honey's church where there is a line which says "The wind and waves obey Him". But without knowing more, it's hard to sing this after a tsunami. We do hear about instances where God intervenes. Do we just have a local God who can give parking spaces, but one who can't stop a tsunami? After the tsunami, there were stories about survivors, like the church service that was decided to be held in the hills that Sunday, saving the entire congregation. But this is only demonstrative of a God of partiality who honors special clubs of those worthy of His favor. It seems si unjust. Is God intimately involved in our suffering? This requires us to reexplore God. Maybe God isn't an agent like we are agents. What if God is not outside of things, but in things, like relationships and connections? In the collective unconscious of the souls of His people, in change and development and growth? To what extent do we apply personality to God? To have faith in this God would be to trust a benevolence of the universe. This is a God who would not be tied down by traditional beliefs. Is it possible that we can seek God by exploring the inner space of ourselves? How would we live such a faith, where we connect deeply with each other? Numasta is an Indian greetingwhich means " that which is of God in me greets that which is God in you" . Here we might find God in the creative and the simple. This would suggest a God who works through people in their own experiences of life. The tsunami had a devastating affect which left many clergy wanting to offer new ways to look at God, but in the end, the only true answer is, "We don't know" and that may be the most profound avenue of all by which God communicates His power and love.
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