In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti we will be inundated by political and religious commentary. As is usually the case there will be everything from the sublime to the ridiculous. What always amazes me is the presumption of those who speak for God and have the nerve to explain the event for us and tell us what we should learn from it. While some cannot resist the temptation to fill the rest of us in on what is going on, most of the time they do not know what they are talking about no matter how much they are revered by their naive constituencies.
Even a superficial reading of the Bible will reveal that Jesus warns about misinterpreting God's providence and the events of history. While there are many lessons that we should learn from past and present events, final answers and conclusions about what God is doing are often shrouded in mystery and await his own explanation in the age to come. One thing we can be sure of is that there is always more going on than meets the eye. God's ways are not our ways, nor his thoughts our thoughts. They are so much higher and more profound than anything we can imagine. This is why we must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and even slower to draw hard and fast conclusions. High profile spiritual leaders would do well to pray for wisdom before sharing their pearls with the world. If they must say something, if they really must -- here are some passages to ponder.
"About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. 'Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?' Jesus asked. 'Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish too.'" Luke 13:1-5
"Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent." Proverbs 17:28