So I was walking along the mineral tramway the other day chatting to God as one does and the conversation went something like this: (I understand that God might talk to other people completely differently! Please don’t take this too literally!)
“Good morning God, here I am again…..”
“Good morning Jim what’s on your mind?”
“I thought you would know what is on my mind already…”
“Well of course I do but it will help you if you articulate it”
“I thought you may say something like that. Er…… So God…….”
“About healing…. “
“You’re going to ask about why some seem to be healed and others not……”
“Well…… sort of but more what do I say about it to folks who ask why they have had such bad fortune when others do not.”
“Perhaps you have answered your own question,” remarks God.
“eh? “ I pause, “what? Bad fortune?”
“Bad fortune happens, ‘stuff’ happens… “says God philosophically.
“But what about….”
“Miracles?” God cuts across my thought, “I knew you were going to ask that.”
“Well, what’s the answer?” I ask.
“Giving you the answer would be too easy,” says God (I can almost hear God chuckling), “what is a miracle?”
“Well…… “I begin promisingly, ”a miracle is something unusual that does not happen often, something that is unexpected, rare …….”
“And…… “says God
“– well miraculous!”
“So if they happened all the time they would not be miracles. I know what you are going to ask next….”
“Ask me and I will tell you if I was right.”
“I know you are always right, because you are God and I am just me trying to work it out… but who decided who is going to get a miracle? I mean it’s a bit of a lottery…… “
“yes I knew you were go to ask that one, let’s come back to it,” says God changing the subject….. “what were you going to ask about earthquakes and famine”
“oh that… well yes, what do I say to people who ask how ‘You’ as God could let it happen…. ?”
“So tell me what I have given you, and by you I mean all humankind….. and then I will answer…”
“well , brains, natural resources, a beautiful planet, the ability to evolve…. And solve problems, create vaccines, grow food efficiently and much more….”
“Now we are getting somewhere….. “Prompts God….
“oh so if we used our talents and resources better, if we shared more and built less missiles, we could find more cures and find ways to help avoid natural disasters.”
“I will let you ponder on that one….. “Comments God, “what about miracles?”
“well I wondered about the amount of faith, and mustard size faith moving mountains and all that…. But that does not help.”
“well, there are lots of faithful people who have prayed for miracles and not got them!”
“you mean the answer to their prayer was not what was expected?”
“Well there is some of that, but sometimes really awful stuff happens to people…. And maybe they get blamed for not having enough faith or it’s retribution for past behaviour…”
“It doesn’t work like that,” says God sagely, “besides that is not how you think about me is it?”
“No it’s not, I think about you as a loving God who is with us on our journey wherever that might lead and in whatever state of suffering we might be in. I don’t think you arbitrarily decide who will be cured and who wont not do I think that about natural disasters that a group of people suddenly brought down your wrath though I can see and understand why some people might think that.”
“CAREFUL!” warns God
“you’re coming up to the road, focus on what you need to do while you are walking so that you don’t require a miracle.”
“er God, did you just intervene there?”
“Just know that whatever they are suffering I am there with them and will not let them go…. I know you want to ask more but that is enough for now….”
But that was the end of that conversation and I crossed the road listening carefully for the traffic coming around the bend and headed down the hill to home.
Roy Cooper found this excellent talk by Anglican minister Tom Honey: Why would God create a tsunami? | TED Talk that he shared with the Monday morning group….. we get into some great discussions!
It was a marvellous healing – by Gerard Kelly
it was a marvellous healing;
after the months of asking,
after the desperate, slow deterioration,
the warring tides
of faith and doubt:
to be released in an instant,
from every pain.
it was as if the very molecules of his flesh
had been infused, invaded,
with the life of God,
until he was filled, fit to burst,
with the Shalom, the peace,
of the Father’s rule.
limbs that had fallen flaccid with weakness
waved and danced with joy;
lungs that had so utterly failed him
sang out with strength and boldness.
through the unfamiliar sunlight,
drinking it in,
experiencing all at once
the thousand and one feelings
that for so long had been denied him.
it was a marvelous healing:
to be so totally restored,
it had just surprised him,
that he had had to die
to receive it.