by Greg Spearritt
“It's just comfort,” says one lady attending a church service in the wake of the terrible floods in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley. No doubt her feelings are shared by many.
Why comfort, though? How does that work?
Is it the sense that a compassionate God shares your sorrow? Or the solidarity of fellow worshippers? Perhaps the two can’t be disentangled. And what of God’s omnipotence? Plenty of the faithful would want to avow that God could have acted to prevent disaster if He so chose. Or did God find Himself between a rock and a hard place?
Or is it that somehow, in the mysterious ways of the Lord, it all makes sense and serves a purpose? Though none but the loony fringe would baldly suggest at times of human trauma that ‘God did it’ the idea of a Plan is widely touted as comforting. How could anyone believe, however, that the End, however noble, truly justifies such horrifying means?
Perhaps trying to look at comfort from too Goddy (is that a word!) a perspective. Transactional Analysis talks about time structuring and various activities that people find safety in. Church is one of these ritualistic activities that gives a sense of safety or time out. It doesn't have to have anything to do with beliefs or God. It is just comfort. The older I get the less I think a majority of people really think much or care about beliefs though it bothers the rest of us all the time!!
Posted by Owen