By now, everyone knows about the devastating tornado that tore through Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, May 20th. This morning, on NBC’s Today Show, I heard a touching story about a woman who was in labor when the tornado hit Moore Medical Center.
After the chaos, [Shayla] Taylor said she heard not the freight train sound described by so many witnesses, but the absolute silence of the storm’s center. Then she opened her eyes.
“All of a sudden I could see daylight and the wall was gone,” she said. “I look out and I see I-35 and part of the Warren theater.”
She had been almost ready to deliver, but the nursing staff was able to give her a shot to delay the child’s birth. She was later transferred to another facility where she delivered a healthy boy, named Braeden Immanuel. Immanuel, as you may know, means “God with us.” As the mother said, “The name had been picked out for months. Now I know why.” And after the story, Al Roker mentioned something about this being one of the miracles in Moore.
At least 24 people died in the Moore tornado on Monday, 9 of whom were children. At least 70 of the 200 injured were also children. The tornado destroyed two elementary schools and a hospital. How could anyone refer to any event surrounding the tragedy in Moore as a “miracle”?
If God exists, why would he allow something like this to happen? Even if you believe that God sets natural events in motion, to allow a tornado to hit two schools and a hospital is just unthinkable. And if God has simply set things in motion and declines to interfere, of what value is prayer? One of the first things people asked for after the tragedy was prayer. Why? God obviously dropped the ball on this one — at best. Worst case scenario, he’s malicious. There’s really no other way to explain why the most sacred places in a society (places where our children and infirm are kept) would be hit by an “act of god.”
Events like this illustrate the problem of evil. If God is all-powerful and all-good, why do tragedies like this occur? Of course, if there is no God, then there’s nothing to explain. Tornadoes are natural events. They usually hit rural areas, because there are more rural areas than there are populated ones. But every now and then, a populated area will be hit.
In many ways, I feel cheap using this tragedy to make a point. I had wanted to avoid it, but after hearing some of the events around the devastation referred to as miracles, I felt the need to write something. If you disagree with me, please feel free to say so.
I also wanted to include this brief video, where a survivor is interviewed by Wolf Blitzer, who assumes she thanks God for making it through the storm.