Act of God/Une Force Majeur

By Antony Gabriel

The now infamous “Andrew” has left many scars in the wake of its devastating presence in Florida and Louisiana. Upraised hands questioned or railed against this so-called “unjust god” who inflicted heavy pain and loss on so many.

To add insult to injury, many turning to their insurance companies for “comfort” and support to rebuild their lives, may find that there is a clause in their policies regarding “natural disasters” or the so-called “Act of God”/Une force majeur.

Is it possible to ascribe the tragedies of human history to God’s “relentless hands.” The eternal question of world literature and philosophy often focuses on the issue of the suffering of innocents.

Someone once described creative versus destructive moments in life as: Bright Moments/Dark Moments.

A dark moment – since we are talking about Andrew is when our life intersects a non-creative moment where illness, tragedy or death intervenes.

It is important to note that every moment can be turned around. For example, we noticed how the best was brought out in caring people for the victims of the hurricanes; and how so many picked up the fragmented pieces of their lives without complaint or bitterness.

To return to the point. The secret or mystery of life contains many high and low points; negative or positive things. For the believer, God, of course, “knows all” but does not “control all”. Where would the precious gift of freedom be if we were mechanized robots of an all powerful A1mighty?

God is all loving and compassionate. He creates and has gifted humanity with that ultimate divine reflection: freedom.

The world is under God’s realm for sure — but events of history, although known, are not simply controlled by “the Grand Computer”.

God has never promised humankind “a rose garden” but neither does He abandon us in our moments of need.

And this is my final point: He is always there to help us through life’s joys and sorrows – if we open our hearts to Him.

Yes, from my very personal and pastoral experiences, I have never but witnessed the magnificence of God’s mighty deeds, in the humblest of acts of faith, human kindness and love, especially when needed the most.

The real Act of God is not in the natural calamity but rather in His life-giving presence and grace to all who open or lift up their hearts to that eternal source of love.