Saturday, March 12, 2011


Factoring, is the act or process of separating an equation, formula, cryptogram, etc., into its component parts.

The human mind seems to long for compartmentalization. When we are able to separate things and events into their credentialed categories, we . . . well, we feel better. We succumb to the delusion that in so doing, things become organized. We can handle them better. We need to do this in order to better interpret, to better understand terrible things, which, because of their mind-numbing impact, render us impotent.

Yesterday, Japan was struck by an 8.9 earthquake, triggering a tsunami; washing away villages and lives.

Some call this an “Act of God.” They mean no substantive theological implication by such terms. It is just a way of saying, ‘this is something beyond human control. This is something humans did not cause.’

There is, of course, those fringe sayers of nonsense who will attribute this disaster to the judgment of God. This is the same crowd who asked of Jesus, “Who sinned, that this man was born blind?” Such questions, as well as the questioners themselves are best marginalized.

Such factoring seems natural to most of us. We somehow need to interpret in order to comprehend. It helps us to sort out and make sense of the insane. “A single death is a tragedy. A million is a statistic.” -- attributed to Josef Stalin

Despite Mr. Stalin’s perverted, (some would think true), assessment, the loss, the staggering grief of Japan’s tragedy is something our minds truly cannot grasp. Suffice it to say, compassion and the desire to come to their rescue is the only value worth considering at the moment.

Those of us who remain, those of us who see but cannot comprehend, those of us who possess the heart of God, those of us who would ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ Those of us who are in pain because our fellow humans are in pain and with whom we vicariously identify, may find some solace in these simple words . . .

Deep calls to deep.
In the roar of its crashing water,
the waves and breakers sweep over me.
By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me,
I speak with the God of my life, for God is my Rock.

In our factoring, let us factor this: Accept his love, and through it know that He notices, know that He is engaged. This did not happen in a closet.