Theology of Crapiness

*Theology of Crapiness is totally of Erica Oliveira’s invention and does not reflect the views of anyone else.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the theology of crapiness lately.

Theology of crapiness, as I understand it, is that bad things happen.

Does God cause those bad things?  No.

I am currently located in L’viv Ukraine at a ministry that has suffered a terrible loss.  An accident took away two lives and separated a missionary family from their work in L’viv as one of them sought medical treatment.  And while here, I have wondered on more than one occasion, ‘what in the world am I doing here?’ and ‘why did this happen?’.

Why do the bad things in this world–tsunamis, floods, mass shootings–happen, and where is God in that?  Is God the hand in the sky that dooms folk?  Is God beside us in our mourning?  Do these things happen only to bad people?  Are these things punishments for sins or crimes against God?  Does God do these things because He wants to teach us a lesson?

I’ve asked trusted learned friends, and they have mostly reinforced my theology of crapiness.  Bad things happen.  They just do.  Our world, just like us, is imperfect, and all of these accidents and tragedies are in direct correlation to the imperfectness of human life.  Yes, sometimes God intervenes, and we will probably never know the reasons why He/She chooses to do so.

So did God drop a ceiling onto some folk doing mission work (some would call this God’s work) and on purpose kill 2 people, injure another, and wound an entire community of believers?

My answer no.  Some folks years ago when the building was built, may have contributed some flaws that over time became big flaws.  Perhaps there was human error in assessing whether or not the wall was load bearing.  We do as humans, for better or worse, have free will, we can make our own decisions and do our own work.  We can make mistakes, and these mistakes can lead to accidents for ourselves or others.  God not only did not drop that ceiling on those folks, He/She most certainly DID NOT cause the accident to teach anyone a lesson.  Yes, lessons have been learned since, many in fact, but that was not the reason for the accident, it was the result.

Where is God in all of this then?  God is alongside this community, giving comfort and peace.  I see it in the hopefulness of the members of the student center, I see it in our new rented space, I see it in the photos of David with his sons, I see God everywhere.  The interns that are here have suffered greatly, and continue to, but in them too I see God’s grace.  I see God working through them for the good of this community.  This place has been through Hell these past two months.  Total Hell, but the light of God is shining here, and you can see it if you open your eyes.

God is here among us working through this time of pain and bringing us into His/Her grace abundant.  No God I know did the bad stuff, but is instead working through it to bring the good stuff back.


2 thoughts on “Theology of Crapiness

  1. I am praying for you! Upon reading this post (and before), I think that God definitely had a plan when he put you in Ukraine. There is no one better suited for the work and also no one better suited for the moment. I know of no one better equipped to walk with this community in this moment.

    Love, prayers, and thoughts from the States!

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