Monday, November 11, 2013

Thoughts about the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda

The whole world knows about the devastation which super typhoon “Yolanda,” also known as Haiyan brought to the Philippines. More than the thousands of lives lost and millions of worth of property damaged, what is more saddening is the negativity I’ve seen being spread through social media.

Why can’t people use words of love, peace and unity to help the people instead of all the “nega” things, especially judging one religion against the others? I’ve seen quite a number of posts against a particular sect, which allegedly shut its doors to the poor and the homeless who sought shelter after the storm. I do hope it is not true. While I do not comprehend the teachings of this sect (I do watch their preacher on TV from time to time), I will never be able to understand indifference and lack of sympathy at least, in this time of disaster. A lot of Filipinos immediately reacted when they saw pictures of this sect’s sturdy and unharmed worship place while being surrounded by scraps of what were once homes and business establishments. I have not heard if this issue is being addressed by this sect. However, I can only imagine how the “enemy” is rejoicing that instead of wringing out compassion from our hearts, the people are now debating, arguing and blaming their neighbors, even to the extent of using the very provisions of the Bible!

Now, won’t the enemy just love that?! Using God’s word to provoke hatred, anger and discord among us? While we all Christians use the Bible, it cannot be gainsaid that we have different interpretation of the texts, the parables and stories. Some biblical scholars interpret the way the Bible was written in the context of the olden times. Some try to construe the Bible literally, others try to read into its symbolisms and yes, some sects do choose which chapters should be included/excluded in their version of the Bible.

This morning, I’ve read a blog post from another sect criticizing the Philippines and adjudging our country as being punished. While I do believe that the whole world deserves to be punished for destroying nature, among other things we have sinfully committed, no one really knows what God has in mind for us. God is God. We do not pretend to know the ways of God. If we know what God is thinking right this very minute, then we have become more powerful than God (imagine knowing his thoughts?! That means we have become more superior than He is! We can even use His thoughts against Him). But we are not. All we can do is help one another and pray for the whole world. I could only guess that God is giving us an opportunity to be kind and compassionate. We have become so engrossed with our daily lives, beating deadlines, achieving more, working more, some amassing so much worldly treasures at the expense of the others, while setting aside the basics in our lives, the things we take for granted. Like family, peace of mind, time with our loved ones, helping the poor and the needy… the list goes on.

My friends, we should use social media to instil peace, love and hope. Again, we do not pretend to know the will of God. We can only guess and I’m wagering that the God I believe in will not be pleased if we twist around His holy word to use it against His other children, our brothers and sisters. If we do not stop this nonsense, typhoon Yolanda would have brought a greater obliteration than we see on the news: hatred against our fellowmen.

Peace, love and unity to all!