About Jesus Steve Sweetman
young waitress greets you at the door of a popular Manhattan
restaurant. "I've got a
reservation", you say.
you be alone", she asks?
seats you by a window where you gaze outside at people rushing around as
if there's no tomorrow. Sometimes
you wonder just how many tomorrows the world has left.
you wait for your coffee, your ear catches the conversation from the
table behind you. Four news
correspondents from a variety of media outlets are deep in depressing
is seated right behind you. He shakes his head in bewilderment. "I
can't believe those devastating storms I've just reported on in the
south. Two hundred tornadoes
in one day. Hundreds are
killed. Families are ripped
apart. I saw a lonely little
puppy sniffing the dead body of what appeared to be his master.
He looked so sad, but not as sad as a little four year old girl
who was draped over the ravaged corpse of her mother.
Where is God in all this mess"?
know what you're saying", Patrick adds.
"I was in Japan
covering a financial story when the earthquake hit. The
terror I saw on the faces of those poor souls still torment me.
A hundred foot wall of water wiped out the lives of thousands.
Ruined homes and mangled bodies were everywhere.
I saw a dog chewing the flesh off the bones of a lifeless baby
under a pile of wood. Where
is God when you really need Him"?
I guess it's my turn for a sad story", Joel adds.
"The reason why I'm hobbling around on one leg is because I
got too close to a suicide bomber in the West Bank. I was covering a story
about an Israeli family who was stabbed and beheaded by two
Palestinians. I went to the
all got our sad stories", Susan says.
"I was in New Orleans
when Katrina hit. I was doing a story on the night life down there.
I figured the best way to cover the story was to indulge, so I
did. It's one big party.
There's lots of drinking, and of course, lots of sex.
We heard the storm was coming, but we thought it was just another
storm. So as the old saying
goes, 'we ate, we drank, and we were very merry.'
Then the storm hit. Before
I knew it, I was trapped on the roof of our hotel with all my party
friends, all but my editor. He
was floating face down in the water below.
We sobered up pretty quickly but it was too late by then.
I don't have a clue where God was.
All I know He wasn't in
sip on your coffee as you listen intently. The conversation is circular.
Susan tells a sad story. Patrick
adds another, Joel another, and Jack yet another, and then it's back to
Susan. The circle of sad
stories goes around the table, once, twice, three times, and more.
It's like a tag team relay race, one person hands his sad storey
off to the next person. O
the life of a news correspondent.
heart is racing. You know where God is, but should you invite yourself
into their conversation? You
can't resist. "I'm
Joseph Armstrong, investigative reporter for World News Tonight".
That catches their attention.
"So you want to know where God is"?
squints his eyes in cynicism. "This
ought to be worth a couple of laughs".
I understand your cynicism, but you guys raised the question, not
me", you say. "I'll
read a couple of Bible passages and then I'll get lost.
Romans 1:21 and following says, 'although they knew God, they
neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking
became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although
they claimed to be wise, they became fools …
Therefore, God gave them over in the sinful desires of their
hearts to sexual impurities …'"
Catholic conscience cringed as she reflected on the night of immoral
bliss in New Orleans.
continue to read. "'They
exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created
things rather than the Creator … Because of this God gave them over
…' Simply put, if you
don't want God in your life or in your society, He'll split.
He'll just walk away and leave you to your own folly.
No wonder you don't know where God is".
turn to Joel 1:13 and following to explain how we should respond to
disaster. "After the
devastation described in Joel 1 God says '… mourn … wail … spend
time in sackcloth … declare a holy fast … cry out to the Lord'.
Joel 2:1 says, 'blow
a trumpet … sound the alarm … tremble, for the Day of the Lord is
coming … a day of great darkness and gloom … such as never was nor
ever will be …'"
man, I thought you were a news reporter, not a preacher.
I deal in facts, not fables", scorns Susan.
Susan. You're the one with the questions.
I've got the facts that provide the answers. 'Joel
2:12 and following says, 'even now declares the Lord, return to me with
all your heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning'.
It's simple. Search
your hearts and minds. True
repentance from your humanistic mindset and trust in God will invite Him
back into your lives. Then
you'll know where God is".
by the way Susan, find yourself a Bible and read Amos 3:6.
You might learn something about disaster hitting a city like New Orleans".