People kneel and pray to God every other minute. But why canâ€™t God, even for a minute, show himself to the world to see him? Does it make sense for people to be born and die without seeing somebody they call their creator, their maker? Why then is God in hiding? These are the issues BRIGHT MHANGO explores.
To show the Israelites that he would never flood the earth again, he sent a rainbow; he revealed himself to Jacob and actually wrestled him; he sent his own Angels to extract Lot; he dictated the commandments to Moses; he actually gave the people a sign both at day and at night to show them that he was with them as they trekked during the exodus.
Our friends were lucky.
Now picture a woman in Darfur, Sudan. She cannot point the father of her starving daughter because she was gang-raped by the Janjaweed; her daughter is almost lifeless and flies are already starting to infest her bony skin; she has not drunk water nor eaten all day.
The Darfur instance is just an example of the suffering and neglect that feast on many humans today, but strangely, the once ubiquitous God is not coming down, not sending an angel and not even sending a sign that he is there and actually owns creation.
Or is he?
Where is God? Why is he hiding? Is his apparent silence not fuel for the likes of George Thindwa to come out and say that there is no God? Do the suffering Africans, Eastern Europeans, Asians and Latin Americans need to get Israeli passports to get his attention?
One atheist blogger blogging at whynogod.wordpress.com raises a similar question.
â€œWhy is it now that we have developed rational inquiry we hear only a deafening silence from a god who once supposedly engaged regularly in human affairs? Why does God not simply speak to us or appear before us as he supposedly used to? Why are we the losers in the dice roll of time? If a god places such a high value on us worshipping and believing then why not simply make its existence obvious to us?â€
The Washington Post conducted a survey that found that 80 percent of Hurricane Katrina survivors say their faith has only strengthened after the disaster and this is what irks atheist philosopher and author Sam Harris in his Huffington Post article â€œThere is no God (and you know it)â€
â€œIt is safe to say that almost every person living in New Orleans at the moment Katrina struck believed in an omnipotent, omniscient and compassionate God. But what was God doing while a hurricane laid waste to their city?
â€œSurely, He heard the prayers of those elderly men and women who fled the rising waters for the safety of their attics, only to be slowly drowned there. These were people of faith. â€œThese were good men and women who had prayed throughout their lives. Only the atheist has the courage to admit the obvious: these poor people spent their lives in the company of an imaginary friend,â€ argues Harris.
One blogger at godisimaginary.com goes on to say: â€œGod has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone.â€
The world is plunging into atheism. Norwayâ€™s population is now said to be 70 percent atheist, and then there is confusion even among Christians: so many beliefs, so much division and wars in Godâ€™s name.
Can God not for a moment flash in the galaxy and make things right via a memo, a loud voice or something befitting his almighty stature?
Would it be that he is deliberately waiting for many to go astray so that he can cast them into hell fires? The earth is billions of years old, what made him pop up about 6 000 years ago and then 2 000 years just disappear again?
Where is God? The Darfur mother would ask.
A passionate Christian in the name of Moses Banda says God is too big to hide.
â€œThe word of God tells me that we walk by faith not by sight. The fulfillment of his word shows that he really exists; the miracles which are happening now also portray his existence,â€ said Banda.
Edith Amin of Blantyre looks to creation for proof.
â€œOutside â€˜faithâ€™ there is no sign that God exists, but I see Him… in the beauty of nature, the wonder of a sunrise and sunset, the singing of the birds, the complexity of animal and plant life, the blowing wind, the changing seasons and he sends me flowers every spring….need I say more?â€ said Amin.
Aminâ€™s argument is close to Psalms 19:1-2 which reads: â€œThe heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.â€
And the nature issue seems to be the popular argument for Christians and Muslims. They say God is out there and the complex nature is here for us to see that someone intelligent made it.
But this one is hotly contested by other people who say almost everything in nature is explainable by science.
Webster Moyo of Lilongwe says he believes God is out there not because he is a Christian but because he has met him. He did not expound where he met him, though.
But personal testimonies are not enough for people like Stevens Thengo who insist that God, being infinite and almighty, should find a better way of manifesting himself beyond testimonies by finite mortals.
In the Bible, James, a man history records as the brother of Jesus, tells us that if we draw near to God, He draws near to us (James 4:8).
Christians will boil at anyone asking where God is, but it is easy to ask where God is when one looks at the evil in the world, when one looks at the how men of God who are actually men of gold twist his words.
Even the Bible is said to be his word when each book has authors. Maybe we should wait; maybe he only talks to the faithful.