I read part of an interview with Steve Jobs about his decision to leave Christianity at the ripe old age of 13, after seeing images of starving children on the cover of Life magazine. One imagines he must have wondered the same things we all wonder…”if there is a loving God in the universe, why doesn’t He fix this?”
Why doesn’t He…end hunger?…cure cancer?…bring peace?…do something?…do anything?
And I imagine Steve’s Sunday school teacher must have answered with a kindly, “God works in mysterious ways.” Or some other comparable phrase, which sadly insults the intelligence of most of us and denies a lesson in what it means to be a little-Christ.
Here’s what I’m thinking. The great God of the universe puts on the clothes and flesh of your ordinary human, lives among His creation, touches the untouchable, loves the unloveable, extends grace to the pagan and censure to the religious elite. He eats, drinks, walks, talks, laughs, loves, and experiences everything it means to be one of us.
The Spirit of the Living God inhabited this world, within the physical body of a human.
And that human, Jesus, promised us that he would send the same living spirit into our flesh, as well. Not for the purpose of identifying ourselves as His followers, but so that we could continue to be His hands and arms and voice in this seemingly God-forsaken world.
If you want to know how God acts in the world, look around you. Look in the mirror.
Intelligent men and women, world-wide, are working to cure cancer and a million other diseases that weaken and destroy our lives. Gentle men and women, everywhere, protest war, pray for peace, stand silently in front of tanks and armies. Missionaries across this lonely blue globe bring shelter and food, clothes and shoes to starving humanity.
If God is letting our world suffer, it is only because WE have not acted.