In case anyone has been living under a rock (not a bad place to be right now) lately, let me point you to http://www.westmont.edu/teafire. Our campus was hit Thursday night by a fire, and while every person at Westmont is unharmed, we have sustained significant building loss and damage. Anything I could say about the fire itself would be old news by this point, so please click over to the Westmont website to see what’s happened, what’s happening, and what’s going to happen.
This has been a very difficult time for me. One of the buildings that was destroyed was the physics building. Many people have been attributing the fact that our President’s home and our prayer chapel were literally enclosed by flames which burned up to the boundaries but left the structures intact to some sort of divine protection on those buildings. What does that say about the buildings that burnt to the ground? Does God somehow care more about the prayer chapel than he does about the entirety of the physics department? How are we supposed to interpret these events? Certain parts of Clark dorm were left unharmed while others were consumed entirely. Did God have a hand in that? What is God’s plan for our faculty members who lost their homes, some of whom have also lost their offices – essentially everything they possess?
It is much easier for me to say that God had no hand in Thursday night’s proceedings whatsoever – but what are the implications of that statement? That God is unconcerned with Westmont? That he was just sitting back and watching this all happen?
I’m not having a crisis of faith or anything, but it is very difficult for me at the present moment to synthesize these events into a coherent pictures of God’s love for all. Hopefully more will become clear soon.
Please keep our campus and especially our faculty in your prayers.