News from the recent calamity relates of a woman who survived the flood, holding on to her copy of the Bible, and recalling the Ancient Testament event of the Great Flood. That flood, survived by Noah and his family, was God’s way of purifying His Creation bloodied and tarnished by man’s sins.
The calamity that just visited our people is not a punishment from God for our sins. It is a consequence of climate change. That is how many would like us to believe. I do not wish to thread a different path nor hurt the already hurting and mourning people. I could only painfully recall of what the rescuers found when they were looking for the victims of the landslide in Pampanga. There were two brothers embracing each other buried in the mud. Probably the older one was trying to protect the younger sibling. I wrote a year ago, and I write it again now: Where was our God when His people were dying?
So many heart-wrenching pictures and videos: the poor died with the rich; the young with the old; the sinner with the saintly. One survived, some other died. Does God choose at random whom He will save and whom He will simply allow to perish? Does God turn a blind eye and turn deaf when we suffer? Does He even care?
Some may label me as overly spiritualizing things and to take things as they are: it was a natural calamity and none other.
But it is not. God saw all these from eternity and sees everything until eternity. God saw the drowning. God saw the suffering. God saw the dying. God saw those mourning. And God sees the resurrection of all. He withholds miracles not to hurt us but to give us even a greater miracle: a stronger character, a more compassionate heart, and a more trusting spirit in Him. And yes, God was crying, and is still is, for He sees His people suffering and still don’t get its meaning. Tears purify our soul, suffering turns our hearts into gold, death makes our spirit turn toward the eternal.
I hurt when I write this, but I have to write it. This is no mere natural calamity, and that after this we have to be simply more prepared. Sure, disaster-preparedness is a necessity. But we have to see there are much greater things behind all these events, deeper messages, if you may.
The Gospel speaks of the resurrection of the just, that those who believe in Christ will not perish but will have eternal life.
In some few hours, countless lives were changed forever. Laughter turned into tears, joy into mourning.
I remember the father of those siblings who died. He was saying that, in fact, before the landslide, they were decorating their home with Christmas lights, and cleaning their electric fan. They were looking forward to that most wonderful time of the year.
Then tragedy strikes. Tragedy, for us. Grace, overwhelming grace, from God for us. So great a grace that we could not understand and we could not accept it. But God understands and waits.
Did God punish for our individual and collective sins? Perhaps, and may He forgive us. To purify us? Probably, His Will be done. But does He really love us? Certainly, and through it all, He knows all things. He knows how much we strive to love Him.
To our dead, may the angels lead you into paradise. May they bring you safely home. To the mourning, may the angels wipe away your tears. To us who survived, may the angels tame our happiness and remind us of heaven. And to You, Dearest Lord, I do not understand so many things, I only beg You to make us love You more and more.