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Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Job and the tsunami.

James Carroll turns to the biblical book of Job for his reflection on the tsunami:

Job is unforgotten not because of what he suffered but because of his refusal to respond with curses and quitting. He rejects the possibility that the human condition amounts to mere bedlam, nothing more. He condemns the injustice of every further twist of his fate, and therefore justice itself becomes his defining affirmation. His nobility lies in the simple act of insisting, in the face of unearned suffering, that things were not meant to be like this. A moral order emerges from his stand against otherwise victorious disorder, and what sets Job apart is the discovery, then, that moral order is what counts.

Across South Asia today, Job lives in the survivors of the tsunami. They protest against the supreme indifference of nature by caring more than ever. They care for the living, and they care for the dead. Grief becomes a way, literally, of life. Legions of the empathetic, meanwhile, attempt to rescue, heal, console, and rebuild. No curses. No quitting. Just clean water, sanitation, burying the remains, naming the disappeared. Dispersed members of the human family, on hearing of this disaster, experience it as happening to them.

("The Road Back," James Carroll, Boston Globe 1.4.05)

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 4 January 2005 at 7:51 AM

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