Why do dramatic and horrifying events like this hurricane happen? Why does God choose to let some die, some live, and leave still others waiting for one of these two? While I think that many Christians are quick to scream ‘judgement’, I think we would be fools if we though that we were in a place to make such a statement. God kept Noah safe in the ark, God parted the waters for Moses to freely lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and Christian baptism too is a picture of God’s salvation and synonymous judgement. Flannery O’Connor once wrote a short story in which a child is drowned during a baptism. Why is this? Why the focus on death? What is the purpose of associating such a beautiful sacrament as baptism with such an ugly thing as the drowning death of a child? Why have hundreds, maybe thousands, died in the aftermath of this hurricane? There is only one important answer I can think of, and that is simply to make us ask why. In a day and age when pagan and Christian alike are both guilty of the sin of explaining away the mysterious side of God; A time when Christians think they can offer a simple explanation for why tsunami’s and hurricanes happen, it is these same natural disasters, these ‘Acts of God’ which are the very things which we cannot explain away. They must remain mysterious. To think that we can know God fully is to think that the finite can know the infinite. This is pure foolishness. What is God’s purpose in this hurricane? What is the purpose of this ‘baptism’? The same purpose of every baptism. It is for the salvation of some and for the damnation of others. As Christians, we need to humbly accept this mystery and refrain from trying to fit the infinite wisdom of God into our finite minds. Job learned this lesson up close and personally and we ought to learn it as well.

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