Tag Archives: Human Nature

Where is God?

Where is God?  A question you might ask given calamatous events all around the world, and even in our own communities.  A question that deserves some thinking, and if I may be so bold, some words.  Not answers because the question is too big for answers, but lets see where words take us in this blog.

Your response to the question will probably depend on whether you view God as a divine figure, a father or parent, a heavenly being perhaps, or whether your consider the concept of God to be a human construct, one created out of human experience, expressed in language in an endeavour to make sense of the realities of this world.

My particular thinking is the latter.  Not for me the God of the parking space (this is when you get in your car to go to town you pray to God that a parking space will be created just for you when you get to the supermarket even if you happen to change you mind on the way and got to the mall instead).  Sorry, this divine being, holding the fate of individuals in her/his hand, doesn’t do it for me.

I’m at the stage in my journey where I see the hand of God (a human construct), the work of the divine, in the world around me expressed in the everyday pleasures and calamities of and through people.

When we look at Japan or Libya or Christchurch or our neighbourhood we see ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  Motivated by compassion, justice and love they are in there rescuing people they’ve never seen before, caring for neighbours they wouldn’t normally talk to, making a stand for those people in their community who are oppressed or suffering or down trodden or excluded.  And it doesn’t have to be  mighty works –  love as shown in a kind word, a cup of tea,or  a phone call is God seen in our lives.

So for me God is there, not making this cracked earth shake and quiver, not sending rolling waves of water crashing into villages, but rather encouraging and uplifting people to help and rescue and comfort people.  God is in the hearts of the children down the road baking cup cakes for Christchurch; in the strong arms of the firemen working in dangerous conditions to pull people out of buildings; in the brains of the engineers selflessly working to contain the nuclear reactors in Japan.

Go God!

ps I’m not sure where God fits into the lives of Hurricanes supporters:-(

pps Obviously these words don’t explain death and distress and pain as epitomised by starving children dying because the leaders of their nations are corrupt and tyrannical or families in NZ torn apart by the scourge of drugs such as P. I’m not sure that the concept of a father figure God can explain that either.  To me it lies within (there’s a church song that says “the kingdom is within you”) and so we each have the ability, the capacity, to be a source of good in the world or to be a source of bad.  Jesus certainly shows us which is the better way.

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Technology and Nature

The sight of boulders crashing onto a building and wreckage in the streets of Christchurch made me think about the human struggle with nature.  Despite all the technology, we (humankind) are powerless in the face of nature’s floods (Queensland), fires (Victoria) and earthquakes (Napier and Christchurch).  The devastation wrought by nature overcomes our reinforced steel and flood schemes and no amount of computers, eco-friendly houses or hybrid cars can stop what nature wants to do to our human constructions.

Despite that, technology does play a part in how we respond and cope.  Already social media are (should that be is?) helping people connect and cell phones are being used by people trapped in the  rubble to let rescuers know of their plight.  I heard an interview with a person managing rescuers on the ground in Christchruch from a control centre in Auckland.  He was able to direct resources from throughout the country to give maximum effect to the rescue effort his organisation was making.

News media are making use of You Tube footage posted very quickly after the event and one FaceBook site I’ve looked at has messages of support along with enquiries seeking information about family.

Of course with technology we run the risk of repetition.  Last night’s TV footage seemed to be a repeat of much footage and while this was helpful to people who might just be turning the TV on later in the evening, it did appear as though they were struggling to get new info.

In the aftermath of the quake everyone has to contend with the need to look after their own well being and that of their family/friends while at the same time having a commitment to their work and/or community.  Many have to lift themselves above their own concerns and contribute to the rescue effort and I take my hat off to all of them doing that, their commitment and hard work is a stirring example to us all of what commuinity is about.

So to all the people of Christchurch my heart felt prayers at this time.  May the basic human characteristic of love and concern for each other win through and may technology help you connect with those you care about.