Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Camouflage Pants

I recently heard a story on a podcast that I have used in a couple sermons. It is a powerful story when talking about the very popular question, "Why do bad things happen to good people."

I used it at Victoria camp in the adults division for Sabbath School and in the Teens tent where I was speaking about "United in the moment of Decision." Teens was great fun! Friday night we talked about being "United in the moment of Creation." And on Sunday night after talking about being "United in the moment of Baptism" we had six kids come forward desiring baptism. I invited all the kids who had already been baptised to come forward (there were over 30 of them) to lay hands on the six kids and we prayed for the newbies. It was a special moment!

But I digress. The Camouflage pants...

There was a little boy - about seven years old - who lived in Pakistan. They lived in a valley that had strong winds frequently. The little boy was excited and fascinated by the wind and would always run outside whenever the wind blew so that he could watch the effects of the gale.
His mother did not want him going OUT when the wind was blowing. She wanted him to come IN. But, he would never listen. He just found the wind to enticing.
Finally, after telling the boy repeatedly, "Come in the house when the wind blows!" and being ignored, the mum thought of a plan. She knew how much the little guy liked his camouflage pants. So, she told him, "The next time we have a windstorm if you run into the house quickly I will let you wear your camouflage pants the next day."
The boy thought this was a great deal. And, sure enough, a couple days later the wind picked up and the boy came running home. He ran inside to his mum and said, "The wind is blowing and I came in!" The mother told him she was proud of him and that he could wear his camo pants the next day. And he did!
The next day, the boy was playing outside, in his camouflage pants. As he was playing he noticed the wind pick up. He had learned his lesson and wanted to make Mum happy. So, he got up and started to run home. As he was running the ground began to roll. It was 8 October 2005, the day that the huge earthquake hit Pakistan. The boy ran into the house through the back door. His mother was quickly gathering his little sister and the baby up in her arms and fled through the front door. As she exited the house it collapsed behind her.
She began the frantic search for her little boy. She called and called, looked and looked and couldn't find him anywhere. She began to dig through the pile of rubble that once was her house. After two days of digging with her bare hands, she saw the camouflage pants. Moments later she held the dead body of her boy. He had obeyed. He had come in when the wind blew--something he would not have done even a week before.
The mother, talking to a aid worker, said, "I lost my God that day."
Over 79,000 people lost their lives in that earthquake. How many of them lost their God?