Sifting through the reports of the damamge and death, seeing pictures of little children dead in their parents' arms, I'll admit, gives me some real theological trouble. It is almost easier, thinking about God and all that, to hear of disasters involving human evil, because there humankind and all its evil choices are clearly the focus of the blame. But what to do in a situation like this? Just cry and shake your head I guess.
I remember reading an interview with the famous agnostic Charles Templeton wherein he describes to the interviewer the photograph that led to his loss of faith:
"Was there one thing in particular that caused you to lose your faith in God?" I asked at the outset.
He thought for a moment. "It was a photograph in Life magazine," he said finally.
"Really?" I said. "A photograph? How so?"
He narrowed his eyes a bit and looked off to the side, as if he were viewing the photo afresh and reliving the moment. "It was a picture of a black woman in Northern Africa," he explained. "They were experiencing a devastating drought. And she was holding her dead baby in her arms and looking up to heaven with the most forlorn expression. I looked at it and I thought, ‘Is it possible to believe that there is a loving or caring Creator when all this woman needed was rain?’"
As he emphasized the word rain, his bushy gray eyebrows shot up and his arms gestured toward heaven as if beckoning for a response.
"How could a loving God do this to that woman?" he implored as he got more animated, moving to the edge of his chair. "Who runs the rain? I don’t; you don't. He does — or that’s what I thought. But when I saw that photograph, I immediately knew it is not possible for this to happen and for there to be a loving God. There was no way. Who else but a fiend could destroy a baby and virtually kill its mother with agony — when all that was needed was rain?"
That really bugs me.