the adventures of ernie bufflo

things magical and mundane

on tornadoes and the Jesus who calmed storms

4 Comments

Last year was a bad tornado season for those of us who live in Tornado Alley. Bad enough that we spent several nights in our “safe space” waiting for the sirens and the winds to stop. A friend had a tornado knock a tree onto her house. Other friends survived the tornadoes that blew through Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. It freaked me out enough that I finally made a FEMA-recommended tornado kit to keep in my safe space, which is small comfort when I know that if a tornado really does hit my house, no waterproof bag full of food and supplies can save me. Tornadoes are scary. They are unpredictable. They are deadly. And climate change seems to be making them worse.

This year has already seen several tornadoes. People have died. Communities have been destroyed. Others are just now starting to pick up the pieces.

And John Piper, not even a week after this latest bout of deadly tornadoes, would like to let those survivors know that God did this. Because that’s what the hurting and grieving need to hear right now, right?

Now, let me say right now that I believe in a powerful God who could cause tornadoes if God wanted to. But I also believe that sending these storms wouldn’t be in keeping with the nature of the God I have come to know and love.

I believe that the best way to learn about the nature of God is through the Person of Jesus Christ (as Brian McLaren called it at a talk I attended, you could say my hermeneutic is Jesus). And the God revealed through the person of Jesus is not someone who capriciously sends tornadoes that pick up babies and carry them for miles and kill them. The God revealed in Jesus is someone who wakes up in a boat in the middle of the storm and calms it. The God revealed in Jesus is someone who raises the dead and heals the sick and comforts the grieving and gets to know the outcast. God isn’t someone who breaks and destroys, but someone on a mission of healing and wholeness and reconciliation and redemption.

In the wake of deadly tornadoes, God is on the side of the folks wiping away tears and giving hugs and listening to the grieving and picking up the pieces. God’s drawing nearer to us through acts of love and healing. At least that’s what I believe.

Yes, we live in a world that does not work the way God designed it to. There were no deadly tornadoes, no death at all in fact, in God’s original plan. But all of creation was given the ability to turn from that design, and we did, and here we are. But God isn’t smiting us. God is working to fix it, and God invites us to be a part of the healing. At least that’s what I believe.

I’m praying for the people in Indiana and Kentucky who are dealing with devastation right now. I want them to know that God is on their side.

About these ads

Author: erniebufflo

Writer. Hugger of trees. Lover of food, literature, politics, feminism. Wife to @orzzyo. Mama to twins Etta & Claire, dogs Bessie & Olive, & one not-so-Tinycat.

4 thoughts on “on tornadoes and the Jesus who calmed storms

  1. Thank you for stating what people need to hear: believers should call it the GOOD NEWS after all. The Nay-Sayers, Doom-Mongers, and Bent-for-Hell Condemners ought to be ashamed for twisting God and painting Him in such outrageous trappings as anger, vengeance, and out-right hatred toward His creation. We know a God of Love, of Healing, Care, and Nurture. He calls each of us to His unity so we might leave our isolation behind.

  2. It could be worse; they could hear Pat Robertson chastising them for not praying hard enough to keep the tornadoes away, and, oh by-the-way, why are you people living where there are tornadoes anyway?

    I don’t recall a parable from the words of Jesus Christ having to do with weather control.

  3. Thank you for a poignant word on this topic. “Acts of God” is a misnomer.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,995 other followers