Ah…the Problem of Pain

January 15, 2010

Tragedy has struck again. The earthquake that has instantly destroyed thousands of lives in Haiti not only shook up the world geologically, but shakes the foundations of those with solid faith. Because we have such a hard time answering the question that stares us down in the face of massive suffering: Why would God allow it to happen?

Last night, I explained to my six year old daughter why we needed to pray for the people of Haiti. Haiti is a country far away from us, but there are people there who have lost their homes, families, and their lives because a big earthquake happened. (Lizzy experienced her first big earthquake just a couple weeks ago here in our building) She then proceeded to ask me, “then why didn’t God stop the earthquake?”

The best answer to that question that could come from me is “I don’t know.” All the answers I’ve ever read from theologians and Christian thinkers only satisfy to a certain level and breaks down after that. But I will hold on to what I DO know, that despite what it appears, God is still a good and loving God. He cares for the most neglected peoples (and certainly the impoverished country of Haiti qualifies), He cares for the suffering and the grieving, and His mission for us as His community of believers is to reach out and rescue. My prayers for Haiti are that their deep and unfathomable pain will bring attention to the world to stop neglecting their poverty; that the aid will continue after the initial emergency rescue; that there will be a commitment from the richer nations to help lift the nation out of poverty, and through these efforts there may be redemption not only for Haiti but for all of us who have chosen to not ignore the cry of those who suffer.

The One campaign, offers lots of good resources so we can pray informed prayers, give to trustworthy orgs working on the ground in Haiti (my personal pitch for One Days Wages’ Haiti Emergency Relief Fund,, and how to act through appealing to the government to commit to helping Haiti.