The recent dreadful earthquake in Haiti (January 2010) that killed over 150,000 people and injured and maimed thousands may have happened far away from our safe and secure environment. But they affect us in some ways as they bring out stories of courage, faith and generosity. A man who was rescued from under the rubbles after 10 days attended Holy Mass in a Church along with hundreds of other survivors. This scene was telecast live by a news channel in the United States. The news caster made this comment at the end: “How can these people worship a God who allows such terrible tragedy to happen?” Was he poking fun at the worshipers? Was he being sarcastic? Or was he making a point to the listeners who were angry at this terrible natural disaster? Whatever his intentions, the answer was found in the actions of that man and the other survivors who gathered together to worship the God who 'allowed' this dreadful calamity to happen! The point is worth pondering!
Here is a man who goes to thank God for saving his life after being buried for ten days! He attributes his survival to God. Here are a people who recognised God’s benevolent presence right in their midst even at the time of sorrow, pain and loss! Natural disasters are oftentimes inexplicable. Is God aware of them? Yes. Can he stop them? Yes. Then why does he allow them to happen? The only answer is that they are not the actions of a loving God. Often they are the result of human greed that destroys the echo system. But he 'allows' them to happen for our good! He visits us more than ever when we badly need his help no matter how we have collaborated in the destruction of nature. He also opens our minds and hearts to reach out in generosity to the suffering and needy people.
Can we then say tragedies are blessings in disguise? Yes, indeed if we are open to the message they bring out and adjust and change our lives accordingly.