It is an unavoidable question.
How can a God whom we call all-good, all-loving, and all-powerful allow a natural disaster like an earthquake in Nepal that takes thousands of lives, destroys hundreds of homes, and unleashes forces of chaos and waves of despair?
How often have we blithely invoked the words of Paul from his letter to the Romans, that "all things work for good"? How often have we referred to a "God thing" when events conspire to bring about something good or amazing in our lives?
Do we think that the earthquake and the human devastation that comes from it are a "God thing"? Is there any "good" that can come from devastation at such scale?
I raise these questions with a twinge of uneasiness, maybe even guilt, while I sit comfortably in my soft chair, in my spacious office, looking out on a sunny, calm, spring day. I have the luxury to muse over questions of natural evil because the earth is not buckling under my feet. I do not have to worry about whether I can find suitable shelter in the middle of unstable buildings. I do not have to wonder if any of my family members or co-workers are still alive. I do not have to think about where my food and water will come from. I can walk 10 steps and go to the bathroom. If I need medical help, I am two blocks from the emergency room.