'Where Is God in This?'

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Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga is among those leading interfaith peace efforts in war-torn Central African Republic. His church welcomes displaced people of any faith. Photo courtesy of Matthieu Alexandre for Caritas Internationalis
Believers may well find the question odd, even offensive. We know that God is everywhere—in everything. He is never less present in bad times than in good. In fact, we're more likely to turn to him during crisis than when our lives are running smoothly.

But when we see storms or earthquakes destroy whole districts, families torn apart by war or the appalling assault on innocence in the kidnapping of Nigerian girls, it's not uncommon to ask: "Where is God in this?"

Your answer, as a supporter of CRS, is so often, "Of course he's there. And he's waiting for you."

The Church embodies God's hands and feet, his embrace, his response, his message of grace and mercy. Where we are willing to work for him, he is there working through us. By our diligence and openness to God's will, our labor for the poor becomes good works, God's work. The Church is Christ to the rescue.

Today the Central African Republic, Gaza and South Sudan, may prompt some to wonder, "Where is God in this disaster?" Their problems are complex, and ignored by much of the world, and will not be solved in a month. We may not yet have seen the worst. Some crises tempt the world to despair.

But we can report that God is very much there. You can see him at work in the gathering of peacebuilders, in the Church's response and in the prayerful support we receive from believers like you. And there is our answer. "Where is God in this disaster?" Tell anyone who asks: "He is there. Where are you?"