Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Smote, Smitten...wiped out?

I wonder if God really smites us? I wonder if that is even a word?
Why do I wonder about this? My family is from Haiti...and if ever a people were smitten, well, it would be them. I was only there one, when I was in about 3rd grade, so my perceptions are colored by youth. I hated it. Didn't even go back for my grandfather's funeral. Even at a young age, I was able to understand disparity and need. My grandmother family had a home that was used as a school during the school year. In the summer it was a children's playground of chalk boards, toys, and playground equipment. But the most exciting part, for American smart-ass children...our backyard gate opened to the neighbors yard and was guarded day and night by an armed man with a machine gun. How often does that happen in the US in the 7o's... Our neighbor worked for the Haitian government--back in the day that was the Duvalier family. They were not very nice and I won't bore you with Haitian history lessons...

I will bore you a bit with a Biblical lesson, however...Sodom and Gomorrah. These two cities were supposedly so horrible that God wished to destroy them. A writer discussed them in a blog post today in the National Catholic Register and he did a much better job with it than I would. But that got me thinking. I have been thinking about how much worse we are, as a society, than they could have been. Not only to we engage in the same type of behaviors--openly, we legislate it, wrap it in pretty, inclusive language, and applaud it as a right protected by the constitution. Haiti is said to have made an ancient pact with the devil. I don't have any knowledge of such a pact, though voodoo is entrenched in the society. I used to call myself a voodoo catholic...a joke referring to the acceptance of the magic practiced with the Catholicism in Haiti. But seriously, the country has a long history of tolerating the satanic practices as we do with "old wives tales." Did he smote them?
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Has this country endured political, economic, and physical penalties by a God who couldn't find enough good men left?
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Would God permit all the people to suffer because some didn't listen and practiced unholy traditions?
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Would God let the innocent pay for the sins of the wicked?

I sure hope that we don't have to find out. But I believe in God's sovereign power. In His Justice and His Mercy...And I don't believe that He thinks that this world is as important as we do. Yes, I believe that He might smite us. I don't look forward to it. I pray that people seek Him before it comes. But He did give us a safety line...grab on!

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