'God still loves me.'

I read comments like these all too often -- when a tornado tears the roof off of a church, or a manaic opens fire on schoolchildren -- but it never fails to stick in my craw:

As Riza was drifting, she saw her neighbors, two girls -- twins -- and their mother.

Riza, who can swim, managed to help the girls. She saw that their mother was badly injured.

"The mother shouted, 'please help save my children. Let me be, but please save my children,'" Riza recounted, in tears.

As she struggled for her own life and that of the twins, she said a large snake as long as a telephone pole approached her. She and the nine-year-olds rested on the reptile, which was drifting along with the current.

"Thank God, we landed on higher ground where the water level was only about a meter deep. The twins, who were badly injured, were safe." Riza then slapped her face to make sure she wasn't dreaming.

Riza, who is currently taking refuge in the Bandar Blang Bintang area, plans to go to her relatives' house in Medan, North Sumatra.

"God still loves me," she said, adding that she would never forget the tragedy.

It's the same reaction I have when I hear the expression, 'there but for the grace of God go I.' The sentiment suggests that those who suffer deserve what they get because they're not holy enough.

It's a good thing for Riza that god still loves her and only hates those miserable SOBs who died. Like the mother of those twins. She really must have done something to lose god's love. Perhaps it was selfless concern for her children?

While this may often be a careless statement without deep religious significance, there are unfortunately many out there who think that people suffer because they're being punished by 'God.'

posted by Dennis on 12.30.04 at 03:41 PM







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» Where's the Buddy Christ when you need Him? from Twisted Spinster
I've been reading a lot of posts and comments on blogs that wax (or seek to) profound on the devastation wrought by last week's tsunami and what it says about the nature of the Supreme Being. The verdict so far seems to resemble the consternation of ... [Read More]
Tracked on December 30, 2004 5:10 PM



Comments

Hey Denis, have you not heard? It is a zero sum world. The only way I win is that you lose.

That's why the left is so guilt ridden and why they insist on killing so many people.

It is so that they can survive.

Uncle Bill   ·  December 30, 2004 4:08 PM

Quiet or I'll smite thee hip and thigh. - The 'G'

God   ·  December 30, 2004 4:39 PM

I think you might be reading a bit much into it.

I don't think there's a big mental or theological problem with the idea of nature destroying and God's grace saving some, without hating the rest. (This is, of course, speculation, as I'm neither God, a theologian, or even a believer.)

"There but for the grace of God go I" is, as I've always understood it, a reminder that you're not alive/wealthy/having fun because you're a Good Person Living Righteously, but because of what amounts to luck (in that you have no control or influence over it) - grace is not, after all, earned by what you do (for Catholics, this would be sanctifying grace, not "actual grace", which is temporary and earned by specific actions).

At least, that's my understanding of the idea, and it makes sense on its own terms.

The woman here seems clearly to be thanking God and expressing awareness of God's love, not suggesting that any or all of the dead are despised thereof.

Sigivald   ·  December 30, 2004 6:53 PM

Here's another roundup of thoughts on "God and the Tsunami":

http://ambivablog.typepad.com/ambivablog/2004/12/god_and_the_tsu.html

amba   ·  December 31, 2004 8:59 AM

IMHO the phrase just bespeaks a gratitude at being alive and whole in the midst of utter devastation.

It certainly is a mentally healthier place then survivor's guilt where the person plunges into depression with laments of "why me?"

Darleen   ·  December 31, 2004 11:19 AM

God would really be dead if I could blame the sob for my maladies. Only kidding. Leftists will have to bear the brunt, if I don't knock myself off first through stupidity.

J. Peden   ·  December 31, 2004 11:43 AM

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