When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast in August 2005, it took the lives of 1833 human beings. Later, Texas televangilist Pastor John Hagee commented that he thought the devestation was punishment for the sins of New Orleans. In an interview on NPR in September of 2006 Hagee commented that he felt the storm was “God’s retribution for a planned gay pride parade.”
Well, it appears God has changed his mind about New Orleans. Anybody who witnessed TracyPorter’s 74 yard pick-six in Superbowl XLIV would say it was truly divine. He crushed any hope of a Colts comeback and sealed the victory for the Saints. It was nothing short of a miracle, unless of course you were rooting for Indy.
Which presents the question, how does God decide who to root for in war, peace … football games? Or, on a subject more relevant to my own life, how does He choose which children will be autistic.
Most of us raising an autistic child wonder, what did our little baby do to deserve the lifetime full of challenges the disorder presents. No one has been able to answer that question for me. But I haven’t stopped asking.
Some parents lose their belief in God because of this question. But I lean the other way. The words of the keynote speaker at the first autism convention I ever attended still resonate with me. When asked why God allows autism, she said she had no answer, but she did have a hope. Her hope was that we wouldn’t allow the disorder, which already steals so much from us, to steal our faith too. That has always stayed with me.
I wonder how many people lost their faith after Katrina and how many had their faith restored after the Super Bowl. I don’t think God picks sides in football games, nor does he punish people with megastorms for issuing parade licenses. But I think he allows us, as individuals, to discover our own beliefs, our own truths, and so, His lessons are as varied as we are.