“Did God make germs?”
This was a question my boys have had a lot as of late, and it came up again in the car this morning… It’s a bit heavy of a question for 7:00 AM. It came up because I let them know that mommy was finally on the list to get a shot. Of course, it was surrounded by other questions too – like how much will it hurt and what will it mean for our daily life.
I love their questions though often I feel completely incapable of answering them. Especially the complex ones about God when it seems like everyone I know is connected to someone facing unimaginable pain right now. I know it can be very easy, when you want to lay some blame, to wonder why God would let… well, so many bad things happen all at once.
So, did God make the germs? Or the cancer? Or the storm? What a wonderful yet complex question! There is of course a simple answer: No, God loves and cares for creation more than we could even put into words. And, of course, the more complex answer that contains the big concepts of free will and the complexity of nature and human beings and their interactions with each other.
My boys moved on very quickly from this question today, but it stuck with me. On my desk this morning, I pulled this copy of poetry written by 4th century poet Hafiz and found this poem I forgot I marked. It’s my prayer today. I hope it helps you with whatever you are wrestling with right now:
To be humble
So that God does not
Have to appear to be so stingy
O pray to be honest,
So that the Beloved is never miscast
As a cruel great miser.
I know you have a hundred complex cases
Against God in court,
But never mind, wayfarer,⠀
Let’s just get out of this mess
And pray to be loving and humble
So that the Friend will be forced to reveal
May God, the Friend, be revealed to you today and prove quite near after all.