A week ago today those of us living on the east coast got a nasty taste of what nature can do when it combines wind and rain. The past week has been – and continues to be for millions – a focus on regaining electricity, light, heat and gasoline. In a society known for those who ‘have’ and those who ‘have not’, the passing of Sandy created this equalizing effect that opened the eyes of many to what it is like to spend your days and nights trying to keep warm and fed.
And of course, it did not take long for the articles and blogs to appear pointing fingers at others in the way they live or what they believe in or what they have done or not done – which finally pushed God over the edge and raised God’s anger to the point that God sent Sandy to us.
In the first book of Kings we read the story of Elijah being instructed by God to stand outside and wait for the Lord to come by. And God was not found in the heavy wind and crashing rocks. God was not found in the earth as it shook. And God was not found in the fires that burned. Rather God was found in the silence – in the whisper.
Where is God found today in the aftermath of Sandy? God is found in the thousands of workers, who have left their own families behind in cold homes, as they work to restore power here. God is found in the neighbors who are hooking up lines to each other and sharing power. God is found in the shelters created to care for those who have lost their homes. God is found in the digital silence created by the inability to charge devices.
Still it bothers me to read of those who believe we have displeased our God and thus we are being punished. The Hebrew Scriptures are filled with stories of sacrifices being made to God and gods in order to appease. Then God sent his only Son who hung on the cross and said “It is finished” It is done – no more sacrifices will be made. God doesn’t require that – and God never did. Our lives are not about how we appease our God – it is not about bargaining with God. God loves what God has made and there is nothing we can do about that.
Rather, God’s message is about loving others, loving neighbor, and caring for ourselves in a way that brings forth the abundance of God’s love. And if Sandy did anything at all for our area, it has given us a rebirth and a renewal and, I hope, a new realization of that love.