A couple of correspondents and gulker.com readers have communicated that they don’t know where God is when serious misfortune drops into the life of a friend. I have formed an understanding of that, these past few years, as I’ve grappled with the fallout from my cancer.
Short take is that cancer or any other human affliction has almost nothing to do with God, and everything to do with cosmic machinery that whirs and hums, ever balanced on the edge of order and chaos. A machine so elegant that it allows the miracle of life, nevertheless occasionally, randomly spills misfortune on a few of us – think of a spinning top skittering on one side, then another of a line on the floor.
My far-from-complete comprehension of current theoretical thinking is that random processes at the quantum level are the foundation of all that we see and know. I know (from recent experience) that the floor is hard and unyielding, yet it is ultimately ephemeral at its core, relying on a probability that a particle may or may not exist at a given place or moment. To oversimplify, the base particles, the foundation of all creation, rise from ‘nothing.’
My concept of being holds that the blessing of a creator God is a universe where love is possible, the more precious because it is framed by the horrors that humans are so capable of and willing to perpetrate. Deliberate misfortune – war and violence of any stripe – is caused by humans, not God. The random misfortunes, disease, natural disasters et al. are just that – random – and not the expression of a wrathful God.