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.
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!