Monday, July 9, 2012

The Price of Faith

A Baptist church recently returned from a mission trip to Africa and, unfortunately, they brought something deadly back with them: hemorrhagic fever.

This is a very serious, often fatal disease. Think Ebola and you're on the right track. Risk factors for the illness include prior infection, being white, female, or young. There is no cure.

Science-based treatment was able to alleviate the symptoms and give these people a greater chance of survival. Fortunately, every victim survived but they can never go back to Africa lest they run the risk of dying next time. It's a tragic story.

But what's also interesting is the idea that these people went to Africa to do something they thought was good and their god gave them no protection. Faith was no shield. Belief made no difference. They were just as subject to the harsh whims of nature as anyone else - nay, moreso!

Perhaps some would say that "God had a plan" for them. I think it's painfully obvious that nature had a plan: survive. Yahweh didn't send mosquitoes to infect his missionaries so he could test their faith. Mosquitoes did what mosquitoes do and the rest is all science. There's no great purpose to their suffering. There's no great plan to be fulfilled. There is just human misery and death.

At this point, the only thing I can hope is that these people will continue to recover and suffer no long-term effects from this illness. And I also hope that they will choose not to go back to Africa and put themselves at risk for their silent god. Let these people have a long and happy life with their families and if Yahweh wants to tell the rest of the world about his plan of salvation, well, let him do it himself.