Love's Not Like a Hurricane

March 16, 2015

He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy

I hate that song. It changes tense a lot (so I'm not sure if we're singing to or about God). It throws in lots of unexplained, underdeveloped, and even competing metaphors. But the opening lines are the worst. I am a tree and God loves me like a hurricane? You mean God's trying to kill me with love? This sounds like an abusive relationship. It's like the writer tried too hard to be original and poetic.

As news reports trickle in from yet another powerful storm - Cyclone Pam - can we please quit singing that song? Pam slammed the archipelago nation of Vanuatu over the weekend. Photos shows trees snapped and destroyed, not standing around talking about how nice and spiritual it was being bent over during the storm. Even worse, reports indicate several people died and many more are injured, homeless, and without power or water. If that's the picture of God's love, why would anyone sing happily about it?

(some of the destruction on Vanuatu; photo from World Vision)

The Lord said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-12)

God didn't come in the strong wind, earthquake, or fire. God's love is not like the strong wind in a cyclone. Fortunately, there are Christians who see God's love in our hands and feet, not in powerful storms. They are already mobilizing to demonstrate that love to the beleaguered people of Vanuatu.

Relief groups - including BWAid and Baptist World Aid Australia - are already raising money and working to get help to the devastated nation out in the Pacific Ocean. One group particularly leading the way is World Vision, which has worked in Vanuatu for more than 30 years. Thus, the organization already has staffers on the ground.

Since they saw the storm coming, World Vision actually pre-positioned lots of relief items so they could help with more quickly after the storm passed. With information from the remote nation hard to find, CNN and other news sources even relied heavily on firsthand reports from World Vision staffers in the immediate aftermath of Pam. It's great to see a Christian organization so far ahead of the curve that news outlets rely on the group for news!

That's what God's love is like. Not a hurricane, but emergency relief after the storm.