Theological fortitude in a meteorological and emotional maelstrom


File under Practical Theology: Rev. Marian Windel told her earthquake- and hurricane-battered Virginia congregation today that God wasn’t “mad at us in any way.”

“For us, this past week has been trying at the least,” the Episcopal minister said, her clear voice echoing off the high-pitched ceiling of the Church of the Incarnation, Mineral’s oldest house of worship. “There was little, if anything, that we could have done to prepare for the earthquake. And who would have thought it would be followed by a hurricane?”


As she prepared her sermon, Windel said she was reminded of a hymn they had sung the week before. “In times like these,” went the refrain.

“Our nerves are on edge,” she said as light streamed in through a large stained-glass window depicting Jesus as the good shepherd. “We suffer some post-traumatic stress. We’re jolted awake with aftershocks that come during the night. We wait for the other shoe to drop. In times like these, we need a savior. In times like these, we need an anchor.”

Full story at Tip of the hat to Lauren Stanley.

See also Ellen Painter Dollar’s essay at Daily Episcopalian on the effects of the earthquake on our personal sense of groundedness – here.

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James McGrath

Thanks for sharing this, and thank you to Rev. Windel for making this point so explicitly.

(On a related lighter note, I shared on my blog a sarcastic poster I came across, which illustrates the problems with viewing a wrathful deity as behind natural disasters.

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