Since arriving back on Sunday I have been very aware of the deep vulnerability that the people of our city feel because of the earthquake. On TV, radio and newspapers people speak of the unpredictable power of the quake that shakes its unwelcome way into our lives.
I have been surprised at the number of people (who usually profess no belief in God), speaking of the miracle that no one was killed in the earthquake. I typed the word “miracle” into a google search ‘miracle definition’. The first definition that came up defined ‘miracle’ as: “a marvellous event manifesting a supernatural act of a divine agent”.
Isn’t it significant that so many people in these days are even (albeit without realising) acknowledging the existence of ‘a divine agent’ who safeguarded the people of Canterbury during the quake?
As Catholics we know that this is not simply “a” divine agent (as one among many), but “THE” divine agent. We know the name of this agent. And we know too that our God is not distant, but is with us. We are not alone. God is actively providing for us, guiding us and caring for us in every moment.
Once we realise this, we can relax a little. In fact we are no less secure in an earthquake than we are when resting on stable ground. This is because our human stability does not come from the fact that the ground is not moving, or from a secure relationship, a satisfying job or financial security. Our security is found in knowing that God is with us and loves us. God is caring for the family members we might be concerned about. We are not alone. We have nothing to fear.
My hope is that in these days when the newspapers acknowledge miracles, the people of our city might know anew that God is at work, and that He is on our side. God is caring for us more than we could ever care for ourselves.
We have nothing to fear!