We understand tectonic plates
that move beneath our feet.
We understand that powerful waves
make rivers in the street.
But when we try to centre God
our sense is incomplete.
To say creation points to God
will never make real sense
except within a frame of faith,
outside it brings offence.
Our claim is more than paradox
within this present tense.
And so we struggle with the facts
that contradict belief
until we find a greater truth
we never find relief.
Reason and revelation clash
and die in disbelief.
We honour God for all that is
and all that is to be.
We may not understand God's ways,
But love is stronger than belief
and faith can help us see.
Andrew Pratt 28/12/2004
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breaks our grip
on sand that shifts and sways;
the earthquake sends the tidal wave:
are these a cause for praise?
Tsunamis sweep them all away
as people kneel in prayer.
In random tragedy and pain
we chant 'Our God is there'.
If God is there, what sort of God
would watch these people die,
would see young babies swept away
and still ignore their cry?
We haven't found the answer yet
to cosmic suffering:
we cry to God, our trust remains
although faith cannot sing.
© Andrew Pratt 28/12/2004
In every face
we see the pain
of grief and human loss;
the hell we cannot understand,
we cannot count the cost.
Beneath the sea the cooling earth,
had risen, ruptured, torn.
Creation raised its voice and cried,
a tidal wave was born.
And was God mid-wife at the birth
confounding our belief?
Or is our God outside the frame,
removed from human grief?
For ages we have tried and failed
to understand this flaw,
that God should let such evil rise,
while mixing love and awe.
If God is here where bodies rise
in piles along the shore,
where is the mercy, grace and love
of which we should be sure?
We plead for love, we long for grace,
to help us, where they fell,
to grasp the reason for this pain,
this cavalcade of hell.
Then give us strength to rise again,
enlivened by your hope,
and for the present show your love
and give us grace to cope.
God come and join your people in
the centre of their loss.
If you are real then show yourself
upon this present cross.
© Andrew Pratt 31/12/2004
Beyond the tsunami in the Indian Ocean:
Seeing death and desecration;
natural hazards, human fate,
is this part of God's creation?
Will the horror soon abate?
Through a feeling, more than reason,
just a glimpse of fleeting grace,
we will hold on, for a season,
to our damaged, limping faith.
Making sense of devastation,
human grief and mental pain,
moves us to the age-old question,
makes us plumb the depths again.
Who to blame and who to challenge?
Where is God amid the loss?
Where, when people have to scavenge,
is there meaning in a cross?
So we wait, belief in tatters;
struggle to retain our faith.
Every resolution shatters.
Certainties destroyed apace.
Yet we reach to sisters, brothers;
creeds, divisions turn to dust.
Now we feel at one with others;
enmity transformed to trust.
© Andrew Pratt 2/1/2005
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