You are not beyond disaster!

BY: Kobina Ansah
Disaster is no respecter of persons
Disaster is no respecter of persons

Disaster is a part of life’s makeup. If there was no death, we may have taken life for granted. If there were no times of sadness, we wouldn’t have understood what times of happiness meant.

Every disaster that exists is a reminder to enjoy the other side of life… while it lasts.

A disaster is a leveller. It can happen to anyone. Regardless of how wealthy a man is, like a poor man, their marriages can fail.

Despite the kindness of a preacher, just like any other person, they can lose something they cherish so much.

When Bahamian preacher Myles Munroe, his wife and several others perished in that ghastly plane crash in 2014, it drove home one salient life lesson ― bad things can happen to good people.

When Reverend Eastwood Anaba lost his two children and four other relations through a tragic accident in 2009, it taught us all one lesson ― evil doesn’t only happen to evil people.

No one yearns to be a victim of disaster. Life chooses. Inasmuch as we pray that life never chooses us or our loved ones, we must disabuse our minds of the fact that those who are chosen must have done something wrong.

Prayer delivers us from disaster but it doesn’t exempt us from such. As long as we have blood running down our veins, a misfortune that befell others could befall us on any day.

Never in our lives should we assume that we can never be victims of a particular disaster. We have no power over what lies ahead of us.

Last year, I lost my beloved father. Indeed, he is the closest relation I have ever lost in my adult life. The pain was and is unbearable, especially because I am yet to get over his absence. The fateful day I heard of his death, I wondered, “How could such a good man die?”

We sometimes tend to assume that some things can never happen to us. Divorce? Never! Death of a loved one? Not at all. Infertility? No.

Failure at an exam? Over our dead bodies! However, life sometimes gently reminds us that what could happen to somebody could happen to anybody.

Somewhat, life uses disasters to teach us to be measured in our comments about other victims of disaster. Whatever fate others are suffering may not have been because of any wrong they did. It is just because they are as human as everybody.

A disaster walks in when we are least prepared. It ambushes us when we think we have enough safety. No one ever smiles at a disaster because it pounces on everyone when their guards have been let down. No one ever sees it coming.

For instance, no one ever gets married to divorce. It sometimes happens anyway along the journey. No one sets off from home with the knowledge that they will never return.

An accident cuts their life short. No one is prepared for a disaster but it crashes them before they know it. It is not because they were evil. It may not even be because they didn’t pray much. Life happened.

One revelation I have learnt all through my period of grief is that no one is beyond disaster. We must humble ourselves because any misfortune that has happened to others could have actually happened to us. We must be reminded that we are as human as everybody.

Disaster is no respecter of persons. It happens to Christians, Muslims and atheists. Good people die just as the bad ones. Anybody can suffer from any loss. No one is overly righteous enough to be beyond disaster. Notorious criminals as well as famed pastors have perished through accidents.

We have no power over disaster. This is why we must be careful how we treat those who are victims of any disaster.
Though they may have been unfortunate to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, any other person could have been in their place.

When people are hit by a disaster of any sort, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are being punished for wrong doing. Be careful not to mock them.
When people lose their loved ones, it is not an opportunity to settle a score with them. Life is a queue of death. Death will happen to everybody.

Our perception about misfortunes drives how we treat people who have been befallen by them.
If we are convinced that we are as susceptible to them just as anybody, we will be more tactful in how we treat others. We will judge less and comfort more.

When people who do not share in our faith experience a disaster of any sort, don’t be quick to blame their faith as the reason for their fate. It could be you in their shoes. Disaster will not happen to only those who have dissenting views. It can happen to anybody; everybody.

Bad things can happen to both good and bad people. It is not in our place to pronounce judgement.
Disasters don’t always come upon evil people. They sometimes happen to even the kindest of people without any fault of theirs.
To anyone who has been struck by any misfortune, I pray for strength for you. May the days ahead be sweeter than they have ever been.

May you never experience this affliction again. For the rest of us, may God deliver us from evil… and while He is at it, may we never mock those who have been visited by evil.

Kobina Ansah is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm.