When lightning strikes a praying crowd
And the pious burn and die;
When earthquakes bury decent folk
And orphaned children cry;

When sick and old are abandoned too
And people lose their mind:
Try not for these and disasters such
Answers clear to find.

There are times to ask if God indeed
Is fancy or a fact.
There are times at which we need to go
And soon begin to act.

With loss and pain and intense grief
We don't have much to gain,
From arguments on heaven and hell.
They'll all be just in vain.

Let's search and see what we can do
For those who are in need,
How best we can console and heal,
How we can clothe and feed.

It does not matter if we do not know
Why there's pain around.
What we need are helping hands,
Not learned views and sound.

when disasters strike - v. v. raman - 2000
Inspired by the Gujarat earthquake in India of January 26, 2000