The last I heard, eight people lost their lives on Wednesday and hundreds lost their homes and businesses. The same is true in small towns throughout Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia. Over 200 tornadoes across the south on Wednesday alone. Many in the area are asking the question Yancy addresses in this book: What good is God? In the face of devastating loss, what good does God serve?
In his book, Yancy examines how people who have faced major tragedies, such as the school shooting at Virginia Tech, civil war and genocide, and acts of terrorism have found a way of believing that faith has value. The book is a collection of messages Yancy has delivered to those in situations such as these, as well as a description of his interaction with those who have suffered terrible losses.
While I will admit that I want not a fan of the writing/style of this book (review to come later), I'm also appreciative of the messages Yancy delivers, particularly in light of the tragedy being faced in the South and in my own city right now. The aspect I'd like to address in this post is the emphasis that Yancy places throughout the book on the importance of the church in the face of suffering and destruction.
Yancy writes, "Where is God when it hurts? Where God's people are. Where misery is, there is the Messiah, and now on earth the Messiah takes form in the shape of the church. That's what the body of Christ means."As Ringgold, and other cities throughout the South, face the coming days, I hope to see the body of Christ take this one as a whole. What better way to show the love of Christ than to care for people who are suffering? And how better to show the world how God can be good in the midst of tragedy?
My question for readers today is how do you think we can come together to show the good of God in the midst of this tragedy? Do you think that Christians are responsible for conveying God's love and compassion during times of devastation and loss? Do you believe in the goodness of God, even during times of tragedy? Why or why not?
For those of you who are looking for a way to help, I'm hoping to have some more details to post later. I'm organizing a school supply drive through my school to benefit the students of Ringgold Middle and High Schools. Both are completely destroyed. Students will not be able to return to school this year and will have to share space with other schools next year - they will not even be able to return to schools to collect personal belongings. I have some connections to the high school and I'm hoping to possibly use my blog to benefit the school as well. I'm thinking maybe of a book drive for the high school/middle school libraries along with the school supply drive? I'll be thinking through details and posting more in days to come.
And please pray for my town and the people who have lost their homes, businesses, and families.