Pic of the day: "People only learn from mistakes when they're hurt by them." But does the fact that you are hurt always mean that you have made a mistake, and is the hurt always in proportion to the mistake?
Not a sparrow ...
In one of the most famous statements of the New Testament, Jesus assures his disciples that not one sparrow falls to earth without the Heavenly Father. Still, as we know, the sparrows do occasionally fall to earth.
In contrast, when the post-Christmas tsunami hit a wildlife preserve on the coast of Sri Lanka, not even a hare was found dead. While more than a hundred thousand humans, probably closer to two hundred thousand, died and many more were maimed or hurt, the wild animals generally seem to have retreated inconspicuously before the onslaught of the violent earthpower.
Was this then, more truly than we want to think, an act of God? Was it aimed with sincere intention at this one species, while the others were shielded? 65 million years ago as scientist count the years, a much greater disaster wiped out the proud animals who had ruled the Earth for over 200 million years. But smaller, weaker animals survived, those rat-like creatures that had trembled in their holes as the mighty dinosaurs strode past. They came forth and inherited the earth.
Once Jesus said to his countrymen: "Do you think the men who were crushed when the tower of Siloah fell over them, that they were greater sinners than all others? I tell you, unless you turn from your ways, you will all perish in the same way."
The Indonesian province of Ache was closest to the epicenter of the incredibly strong earthquake, and also took the brunt of the killer wave that rose from the deep. Perhaps half of the victims from all around the ocean lived and died there. Until then, the name had figured in the news mainly because of civil unrest and religious strife between two faiths who both claim to know the One True God. I will not try to judge who was at the wrong in that conflict. I am obviously biased, and besides I live far away in my own little happy world. But a strange coincidence it is. Do I believe these were greater sinners than all the rest? Not really.
On Sri Lanka (or Ceylon as it was called when I grew up, and which my spell checker still recognizes), there was also a long and bloody civil war. Again, despite being one of the most far-off coasts to suffer noticeable damage at all, the island was struck a harder blow than most. Perhaps the years of conflict had weakened the people and their structures. Or perhaps they were greater sinners than those who live in peace and therefore in prosperity. Probably not, though.
In my time among "Smith's Friends", the Christian Church, I learned much that I did not know whether I would ever need, but that I still found interesting. One such thing was the theory of Cherubim. It was said that they represented the divine in creation. Not that these uber- angels were divine as in gods, but as I understood it they represented an interface for the divine into the working of the created realm. It was said that when the sin grew heavy, the Cherubim grew restless, and natural disasters struck. It is eerie to look at the map and think of that now.
But although I have deep respect for the Friends, whose personal piety I cannot say for sure that I have ever seen matched anywhere else, I also look at the shape and structure of the continent and it seems evident to me that plate tectonics have worked to reshape the Earth for hundreds of millions of years. What sins did the giant amphibians commit, the toads bigs as cows and covered in bony plates? What were their transgression that they were wiped from the face of the Earth and utterly forgotten until the rise of modern man? Surely, one day we will share their fate, though there may be no one to remember us.
Be that as it may, it is strange to read that the shores are covered with human corpses, but not a single hare. Were the animals somehow warned? Or is it just that we have become so plentiful, that we outnumber the animals so grossly? Or perhaps it is our behavior, as "beach apes" comfortable both on land and in water, which put us squarely in harm's way where other animals prefer to keep to one or the other. Magic is not the only answer. But probably the most intriguing one...
Visit the ChaosNode.net for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.