Every time a natural disaster such as the tsunami in Japan, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and the tornado that touched down in Oklahoma this last week happens it seems like there are many people who respond in humanitarian ways and there are many people who respond by praying for those affected by the disaster. I think that those are great responses that God honors. Though, with the advent of social media it is much more common to see Facebook posts and Tweets about the event from the media, celebrities, and ordinary people. Many people show their sympathy this way, but some, like John Piper use it to share all too early a Bible verse without context to a watching world that sees the response as cold and unkind.
While I believe it is true that God can and does use disasters to catch people’s attention, I think it is important to not just put Bible verses out on social media sites. If someone didn’t know the context of the calamities of Job, that they were tests from the devil, God could easily be blamed for it.
I really enjoyed hearing from Rick Warren via Twitter that he was going to the mess to help be the hands and feet of Jesus there even after he has suffered so much tragedy with his son’s suicide less than a month ago. Here is what he Tweeted yesterday:
In deep pain,people don’t need logic,advice, encouragement,or even Scripture.They just need you to show up and shut up.