It’s life but not as we know it
Life in Christchurch changed when the first earthquake hit on September 4th 2010. We entered a new phase of life, not one that we were used to. Countless people were affected by these earthquakes and many lives are still gripped with a variety of emotions that have changed their lives. I meet people who tell me that life for them has changed for ever.
For many of these people whose lives have changed, they are still trying to make sense of this new life they now face. People are still seeking for answers to make sense of their changed world, but have failed to get the answers they long to hear, answers that provides hope and comfort for the their future. Older adults wonder if they will ever see the bright future being promised.
The church has been very successful in putting on a friendly face and have served the broken communities in Christchurch with the best of their abilities. But is the church helping people make sense of life in Christchurch? I am not seeing people turning to the church for answers. In fact people seem to be moving away from the church for answers. For those who profess no belief in God, what has happened only reinforces their view that God does not exist or is not interested in helping humanity. For those who profess a faith in God, it raises more questions about their faith that has led to changes in their theology about God, and that is causing them to drift away from the church.
Various groups have tried to give spiritual meaning to the earthquakes. Religious people have made sense of this new life by saying its God’s judgment and we need to repent. Atheists see life as both random and meaningless and we just have to get over it and accept the new life. Spiritual people are wondering if God is an external being or a ‘force’ within us orchestrating life in the world we live in.
Christians hold on to the fact that God is supreme and that all things will work together for good for those who trust God. That’s the view I hold. For me, as I face a life that has changed, my theology has changed. I have more questions than answers to life in a broken world. But instead of weakening my faith, it has strengthened it. Even though I don’t have the answers, God is still an anchor that I need to help me make sense of life. Psalm 73: 25-26 says “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” I can never understand God and His ways but I will still trust Him to know what is best for me. Maybe its too simplistic but the alternatives don’t appeal to me.