When Tragedy Strikes...Part 2
Our previous blog was about the social, economic, and political issues that arise "When Tragedy Strikes". While different people handle these tragedies in different ways, they are especially hard on those living in 3rd World countries. Today I want to focus on how, from a spiritual perspective, we are called to respond when tragedy strikes.
I realize that the word "tragedy," when undefined, can mean a lot of things, and that is purposeful. In my mind, I am considering the social, economic, and political upheaval in Haiti a tragedy. I am also considering the political situation and the racial issues in America a tragedy. I am also considering sickness, death in the family, and natural disasters tragedies because the way one holds up under any tragedy speaks volumes of that person's character.
In the previous blog, I really focused on the life-altering economic devastation that happens with even 1 small tragic event in a person's life in 3rd World countries. Two examples I can think of recently:
- A good friend of ours had a baby and had a last minute c-section. This surgery cost around $800.
- We had another friend who had a death in the family. The funeral expenses largely fell to her because she had a job and those expenses include burial, funeral services, and providing food and drink for about 3 days to all of your friends and family.
These events are more than temporary. An event like that can make it difficult to find meals for months, could set their children back 2-3 years of school, and make it where the next event is even more devastating than it would have been.
So my question is, with over 95% of Haitians and over 65% of Americans claiming Christianity, how does this verse play out in our lives?
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds" -James 1:2
What I have seen, from a spiritual perspective, when tragedies have struck is different than what I am used to. In Haiti, people are becoming less reliant on each other and the church and more reliant on political activism and protests in the streets.
In America, the church seems to be losing its voice as well. There are all of these sharp divides that continue to form between political parties, people of different races, and even people who believe different things about Covid-19.
Do you know where the sharpest divide should be seen any time a tragedy strikes?
It should be seen between those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior and those who do not!
Before anyone gets upset, I am not talking about a divide that separates people on an ideology. I am talking about the fact that those who know Christ and have the Holy Spirit inside of them should be obviously different, especially in a crisis, than those who do not! HOW COULD WE NOT BE?
If You Are in Haiti
- You should be the first to fight for the poor and against corruption.
- You should be the first down on your knees in prayer asking GOD to help.
- You should be the last to cause problems in the streets and the first to call out and vote against corruption.
- You should be willing to do whatever you can to help your neighbor and do whatever you can to be with and care for your own family. Your spouse/children are not options, they are your responsibilities in love.
If You Are in America
- You should be the first to stop talking and instead listen to what people who are a different color than you are saying!
- You should be the first to want to step across the aisle and find ways that you are similar to people who have different political beliefs than you.
- You should be the first to stop criticizing those who do not have jobs, money, or homes and spend less of your money so that you can give more away. We could put welfare programs out of business if we, the church, put our money where our mouths have been for far too long.
- You should take a stand against abortion and other social issues without demonizing the people who are against you.
As followers of Christ, we have GOD living inside of us. Literally. This is not some theoretical possibility out there for really strong Christians who never do anything wrong. This is the promise of GOD for all of us. The most stark difference between any 2 groups of people in the world should be between those that have the GOD of the universe living inside of them and those who do not. But we have to ask ourselves this question:
Are we different?
If we are not, there is something wrong. When tragedy strikes, GOD is still living inside of us. When things are good, GOD is still living inside of us. When we are arguing with others, GOD is still living inside of us.
When tragedy strikes we have joy because...GOD is still living inside of us.