I’m a Believer, but I always tell my atheist friends that if they came come up with a more rational explanation for the origin of the universe then I’ll drop God and roll with their side. But they always come up with stuff that still needs a God. Stuff like The Big Bang theory that requires an explosion—which needed a God to cause, started by chemicals—which needed a God to create, that were in motion—which needed a God to facilitate. The very best among the atheists need at least three Gods. I’m cool with just having one.
But every once in a while a more clever atheist will pose a question like this, “If there is a God, then why is there so much suffering in the world? Why was there, like, that earthquake in Haiti?” I’ve always considered this to be a great question and pretty much shrugged when asked, but after Friday night, I think I can finally answer it.
Friday’s ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ telethon had some absolutely brilliant performances. Dave Matthews and Neil Young were outstanding. As were Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris. Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow and Keith Urban made pillars of themselves with their version of Lean On Me. Wyclef Jean closed the show with enough pure musical genius to encapsulate the spirit and resilience of the entire Haitian culture with just five minutes of sound. And of course, that old Satan worshipper himself, You’re Boy, Young, Hov, Jay-Z, took the stage with Rihanna and U2’s Bono and performed a new song just for the occasion that was so true that the devil probably tore up his contract.
And that was it. That’s how I got it. That’s when I understood. I mean, at my lowest sometimes, I slip into debilitating stupors of madness. And in these times, I’m liable to be racist, homophobic and a hater of all things ‘other’. But then to see all these people of all different backgrounds come together—to try to help a nation of Black people at that—it reminded me that we all (well most of us) have a better selves that we should be trying to work towards. And as I remembered listening to a couple of dudes talking about how they wouldn’t text in money to help Haiti because it was “all a scam” and while I’m sure that there are those that think the celebrities that were involved with the benefit were doing it just for “tax purposes”, there are others out there, I know, that probably arrived at the same conclusion that I did. God allows for tragedies like the earthquake in Haiti so that we, who are left alive, can be redeemed.