What can one say on such occasions? Tragedies like this tend to render us speechless and numb. And that is not a bad thing. Better to meditate, ponder and pray than start immediately pontificating. A week has now passed and the horrors keep unfolding.

The earthquakes and tsunami have so far resulted in around 20,000 deaths, with the figure expected to keep climbing. The final number may be just a tenth of the 2004 figure for Indonesia when a similar pair of disasters stuck. But both numbers are far too high.

It is obvious that there are many things believers can do in these situations. We can certainly pray, and pray again. We can give financially as well. And for some, we can be there and help out in very practical ways.

Despite all the tangible things we can do, there will be questions that continue to haunt us. As always in such situations, a million questions arise, and very few answers, it seems, can be found. Believers cannot help but ask some hard theological questions.

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