Friday, January 16, 2009

"Miracle on the Hudson"

Yesterday, the term "miracle" got thrown around a lot as we read and listen to and watched the stories of the US Air flight that landed in the Hudson River. Maybe it's because 9/11 is still such a prominent scar on the American psyche, that to see a plane crashing in NYC brings back the flood of emotions that we dealt with that day.

Was what happened yesterday a miracle? Perhaps it wasn't. Perhaps it was "just luck" that allowed the pilot to land on the water just right.

But perhaps it was. Perhaps God orchestrated the conditions so that even if the crash with the geese happened, the pilot was the right man to be flying that day on that flight, the weather conditions were just right, and landing in the river was infinitely preferable to landing in the ocean. Of course, that leads to questions about why God would protect these people and not people in the Gaza Strip or people who might have died of AIDS or starvation around the world or those who died of exposure last night in the cold. But we also don't know the people still alive that might have died throughout the world. We just don't know.

I don't have any answers to those questions and outside a strict predeterminism/predestination mindset, I don't think we can. What I can do is thank God for the lives of those who were spared and mourn those who were lost, and even question God about those who weren't. Whether or not we get the answers we seek, I believe that God is big enough for our questions.

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