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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Talking to children about disasters

Questions about God's role amid suffering are tough to answer

As Elizabeth Ekdale and her daughter, Grace, watched news reports about Haiti, the 6-year-old asked, "Why did God let this earthquake happen?"

Among the unpredictable questions children ask, those about God's role amid suffering are tough to answer. Why? Many parents wonder about those questions too.

"When kids or adults ask these kinds of profound questions, there are no easy answers," said Ekdale, a pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church, San Francisco. "My daughter and I talked about how the pictures on TV were hard to look at. We talked about how God didn't cause the earthquake, and how God is with people who hurt, how God cares for all of us and uses us to care for others. "


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