Most who know me very well understand my love for the ’90’s TV show “The Nanny”. There were several recurring themes throughout the series. There is no doubt that any Nanny fan would know of Fran’s idolization of Barbara Streisand or Max’s arch-nemesis, Andrew Lloyd Weber. We know that Max’s biggest regret was his passing on “Cats” and our favorite season 4 theme was Niles obsession of finding out the meaning behind “The Thing”. One particular phrase that Fran often repeated was that of “It’s a world gone mad!”–a phrase said in humor but today seems more as if it were prophetic.
I don’t think that any of us can turn on the television and see the devastation in Japan without echoing that phrase of Fran Fine’s. The images transmitted by the news media are overwhelmingly terrifying. Seeing car’s sitting atop the rooftops of houses seem like something a child might do at play, but the other images of destruction remind us, to be sure, that this was no child’s game. As frightening as the destruction is, perhaps the individual stories coming out of Japan tug even more at our heart strings . We hear of a mother who was separated from her daughter when they were both swept away by the water; she now doesn’t know where her daughter is, or whether or not she is even still alive. We see grown men sob for the loss of loved ones. We see the shock that remains on the faces of people wandering aimlessly not knowing where to go. And perhaps the hardest thing for us to endure is the pain we see in a child’s eyes who has lost his parents.
It is not uncommon for one to ask in the midst of such anguish, “Where was God? Why did he let this happen?” It is a valid question and perhaps understandable why one might doubt that there even is a loving God. After all, the current Japanese tragedy is only one of hundreds we have seen in recent years. True, it is a wide-scale tragedy, but there are personal tragedies everyday. Why, if there really is a God, would He allow such devastation?
Certainly I am in no position to speak for God, but I, knowing the reality of His existence and that He loves His children, have at times asked myself this same question. I look at the world and see how divisive we have become, how we each have our own ideas of what the world should be. We often are so intolerant of one another; we fight and argue over everything from global warming to health-care reform. We have even been known to go so far in our disputes to need police intervention for something so unimportant as a child’s T-ball game. Is it any wonder then, that God needs to remind us at times of what is really important? Do we need to be reminded of our similarities in order to see past our differences?
For instance, I think most of us shudder at poverty. We, as in the wake of Japan’s recent tragedy, ache at the furry mother nature so uncompassionately strews upon an unexpecting people. Our hearts are broken when we see a young mother ripped from her children by death, or when a young child is torn from the bosom of her mother in like manner. We are traumatized by the thought of a little child being harmed by another “human being”. We agonize over the plight of a suppressed and abused people, and we lament the tragedies of war and its accompanying heartache. Yet, it is in the midst of all of these tragedies and heartache that we seem to be able to unite as a human race and hope, together, for a better world.
Perhaps God allows these things to happen to remind us of our commonality, that we are all part of the human race, brothers and sisters sharing this earth He has given us to live out our years of mortality. It is in tragedy and heartache that we become one, that we unite in our desire to help carry the burdens heaped upon our fellowmen. We feel that innate longing placed within our bosom which reminds us that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. We desire to do something to help, but somehow know that any individual effort on our part is futile. We understand that it takes a uniting of a people once divided. We may look downward for a moment at the devastation that surrounds us, but understand that it is time to now look upward and unite in prayer for this world gone mad.
Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4 [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]