May 14 10 Comments

A God who obviously doesn’t care

Something provoked me today.

Actually, a lot has provoked me recently and I am not going to go into the details.

Let me start at the beginning.

There is a cyclone coming to Western Burma, right. I already shared that. So those of us who are not in the area where the cyclone is supposed to hit are sitting around biting our nails wondering how big the devastation is going to be. It’s ironic, because the devastation has already happened. There are 140,000 people in Western Burma right now who are homeless, sick and starving. My husband, Steve, and our team leader, Brad, are literally running rugged trying to be that little drop in the ocean that can mean a difference to some of the ones in need.

What got me provoked (in addition to hearing of the lack of care and response of the Burma government) was when one of our staff members asked people to pray on her Facebook page. And somebody commented: “What about sending something that actually works instead of praying to a God who obviously doesn’t care.” 

It stung all the way to where I was sitting.

This is why:

We are sending everything we have, including our husbands and wives. We are using money that people have given, every bit of it, to help where the help is needed. Yesterday, for example, we were able to feed 5000 people who had not eaten for five days. They food will only last them for some days. But at least it was food.

See this woman and her seven kids? They had not eaten for five days. So we gave them food. Not enough  of course, but we gave what we were able to. Wish that the rest of the world would do the same. If they did, people would not starve.

See this woman and her seven kids? They had not eaten for five days. So we gave them food. Not enough of course, but we gave what we were able to. Wish that the rest of the world would do the same. If they did, people would not starve.

Our team is sitting with these people in the pouring rain, assisting them, loving them, speaking on their behalf, trying to protect them, trying to comfort them, trying to give them what nobody else seems willing to give.

Who dares to say: Send something that actually works? I wanted to ask that person: What more can we send than what we are already sending? And: Why don’t you give up your comfort and wealth instead of pointing your finger to us?

And how dares anyone speak about a God who does not care? Is the suffering in the world caused by God now? Is he the reason state leaders allow innocent people to suffer? Is he the reason people in the West are more concerned with Angelina Jolie’s boobs than with the fact that thousands are facing death? Is he the reason we would rather spend more money on ourselves than on children who have nothing to eat?

I have seen a lot of suffering over the years. Much of it has brought me to tears. Much of it has left me depressed and overwhelmed. But it has not made me blame God for the suffering. Because I have seen where the suffering is coming from. It is from people. I have asked victims of violence how the suffering affects their faith, and this is what they have said: “How can we blame God for this? He is not responsible for this. Man is. If you take our faith in God away from us, then we have nothing.”

And that pretty much sums it up.

PS. By the way, feel free to give to Partners. We need your money more than ever. I know this is tacky, but it is true. You are not giving to me, but to people who don’t know what they are going to eat tomorrow. This will take you to a donation page. Good luck!

 

10 Comments

  • Linda Busklein says:

    Freedom is so hard. It’s must easier to blame God or other people for our problems than to say “Hey, I have no limitations. I can do whatever I want to change this.” Yikes.

  • Al says:

    We thank God for the food that we get with money from our own labor. We made choices that got us this food, yet we’re thanking God for it as though he gave it to us. Is that any less ridiculous/unfair than blaming him for suffering that others’ caused?
    Good on you for helping those in Burma. Then again, you could have used your efforts to help those in your own country.

    • oddnygumaer says:

      Yes, I agree, Al. It seems people are always looking for somebody to blame rather than taking a look at their own lives.

    • Linda Busklein says:

      Al, why do we plant seeds instead of, say, cardboard boxes? It’s because seeds grow. God makes them grow. The food that we got from “our own labor” came from God. We did not make the food grow. We put seeds in the ground and we harvested what God gave us.

    • Kelly says:

      Just wondering – I understand the desire to say ‘I have worked for what I have – they should work for what they need’ – but was it the work of your hands that you were born in whatever situation you were born into, where the work of your hands would provide the food you need, rather than in a situation where no matter how hard you worked you, and your children, would still be starving? We thank God not because our labour was insignificant in providing what we have, but because everything we have comes from Him, even our very breath. That is worth giving thanks for. I also work in a country where children are regularly starving . . . we who have much also need to recognise our responsibilties in this world.

  • Brad says:

    Of course if God did start intervening as they suggest then He would become a megalomaniac tyrant wouldn’t He? Perhaps it is best if they just cast off His chains and let us get back to the business of cleaning up the wreckage.

    • oddnygumaer says:

      Yes, that is true. I am not sure if people understand what they are asking if they want God to intervene and make things right. If he did, we in the West would be in for a surprise.

  • kimberlyquinley says:

    LOVE IT!

    On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM, Oddny’s Blog

  • Ruth Corlett says:

    Your blog got me thinking Oddny, and it so happened that the same day, I heard from one our supporters, something that reassured me, that YES God does care….

    One of our NZ donors shared the story behind a very generous donation they made to Partners:
    Our donation came out of our misfortune of a lot of soil slipping under our house. We had a payment from the earthquake commission but (with some Kiwi ingenuity) the repair eventually cost much less than the payment we were given. So we decided to donate the excess to Partners. It was good to be able to make a good outcome from a bad situation.

    Stories like this warm my heart, in a world where it seems the poor are so often forgotten.
    Its one answer to the question “Does God really care about the bad stuff that is happening in the world?” “Yes! through the love-in-action shown by wonderful Christ-inspired people like this!”

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