Iceland’s Eggshell

I vaguely recalling reading somewhere that if the Earth were shrunk down to the size of an egg, its crust would be far, far thinner than that the shell of the egg. And below that fragile exterior, across this (apparently) stable planet are vast swathes of frothing and boiling molten lava, subterranean volcanoes just waiting to erupt with a violence beyond our imagining. And, to paraphrase Han Solo, many us can imagine quite a bit.

So it is with some trepidation that one reads of Icelanders quite literally walking on eggshells, as they brace for one of the many volcanoes under the island to blow at high dough. No one can fully predict when, how or in what way this might happen. There are mysteries and uncertainties in science, more than are let on, but so far seismologists have recorded 600 or so mini-earthquakes, and roads are fissuring and buckling. So far, they’re saying it’s safe to travel – but I’m not so sure. You might meet Lot and his wife coming the other way.

Not to get too apocalyptic, but one can’t help but be reminded of Iceland’s ‘boast’ of having rid itself of all the Down’s Syndrome babies, eugenically aborting them out of existence. I don’t think God – in Whose hands Iceland and the world is held – is pleased.

Now, as Pope John Paul warns in his letter on suffering, we cannot connect any given evil with any given punishment – the ways of the Almighty are more mysterious (and merciful!) than science, or strict justice, might predict. But He does give warnings, and eventually permits the effects of our sins to have their day. I wish no harm to the Icelanders – nor to any of us, mired in our own moral morass – only that they, and we all, are led to repentance, before it be too late.