The day after Christmas, a very large, powerful tornado touched down in some suburbs south and east of Dallas. As usual, there was no lack of videos, photos, and news coverage of the destruction and devastation created by this enormous storm. My usual response to these events is one of removed sympathy. I regret the loss experienced by the victims, but have no real connection .
However, this last disaster was different. The day after the storm, an acquaintance of ours posted on Facebook that her home had been destroyed. Fortunately, she and her husband and two dogs had “hunkered down” in the bedroom closet, and had all survived with no injuries. Suddenly, this was more personal. She is a wonderful, creative person that we both admire.
So, the inevitable question arose. “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Or more to the point, “Why does God let this sort of thing happen?”
Since the beginning of known history, natural disasters have been happening. As far back as can be determined, there have been tornadoes, droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes, lightning strikes, floods, tsunamis, blizzards, cyclones, volcano eruptions and even meteors colliding with the Earth, just to mention a few. Each of these events brought its own level of destruction and devastation to the victims.
Let me stop here and point out the fact that the Earth is a living, breathing organism, and as such, is constantly evolving, adapting, and reacting to forces and conditions exerted upon it. Of course, some of these conditions are man-made. As with any living organism, it is also dying.
Until very recently in our history, humans did not have any understanding of how or why these natural events happened. This lack of understanding caused great fear and confusion. As the brain of our species developed the ability to reason and question, we began trying to create ways to avoid and/or survive disasters. At some point in our development, we acknowledged there were forces and powers beyond our control and understanding.
Thus, gods were created. If there were powers creating these disasters, we had to find a way to appease them. In very ancient times, there were gods responsible for all aspects of existence. In some cultures, they still exist. Sacrifices were invented, priests were empowered, festivals were held, images were carved, and temples were built. Every culture had its own set of gods. Finally, the vast number of gods became so burdensome to some cultures, they decided to have only one god to encompass all their fears.
Since we now know what causes these disastrous events, why do we still revert to very ancient thought processes. Somehow the knowledge of the “God of Nature” has not abated our need for appeasement, and blame.
Bottom line: These events are natural, random, ongoing, and uncontrollable. They are not “caused” or “allowed” by any one. They just happen. And that, my friends, is my opinion of the “God of Nature.”