Browsing blogsphere today I am experiencing overload regarding the Tsunami tragedy in East Asia and the issue of the strategy to impose pseudo-science Intelligence Design by right wingers in our public schools.
I have nothing intelligent to add to the tsunami discussions. My view of the world remains unaffected by tragedy. Pain and sorrow are as much a part of life as is joy and happiness. Tragedies like this affect much more now that I have kids and I can't imagine being in that region of the world and experiencing what parents and kids are experiencing today.
I just realized that the discussion about the tsunami and the issues of the creation, evolution and design are all part of the same overarching discussion, which is, what is God's relationship with the world? With the tsunami, it is more about how does God allow this to happen if he is in control. With science, it is where does God fit in and as much as believers attribute the wonders of creation to God, how does he get off not shouldering the blame for the whole boat-load of crap that came with such a beautiful world?
I for one do not absolve God and let him of the hook and that's healthy. Quite frankly, beginning with the Garden of Eden and Orginal Sin, he "screwed everything up
" and we should be frank about it. That said, my experience is that the context for evil and crap in the world is not closed-in but open and I find that being angry and blaming God helps me experience him and determine that there are more chapters and a final chapter that diminishings the depth of the sorrow of the world. Death is pain only because if there is joy beyond, we do not see it. But what if there is unspeakable joy beyond this horizon? and I believe there is, then what?
I think the concept of heaven is the lynch pin here. We often stand in a closed horizon thinking of our earthly lives as our true lives in which once it is ended, then we are trapped in a joyful but restricted heaven. I've always believed that heaven will not differ from the earth: we will work, write, play, produce, do commerce, interact, etc just like we do on earth, but in a way that is truly meaningful. Heaven is not being trapped staring at God for eternity and praising his beauty. The same God who made and blessed our earthly lives is the same God in heaven and out lives will be similar but fuller.
If then heaven is not an end but a beginning of a fuller life in which we will still have hobbies and interests, friends and family, and if this life is, as I think it is, only a seed to determine the capacity for that which is to come, then tragedies are not the final word. I think we should embrace the sorrow and pain and blame God if we must, as humans, someone must take the blame, but we must try to remember that God and his horizons are open and he is a final chapter to true life and fullness.