Since the horrific events of December 14 in Newtown, Connecticut, I have tried to figure out how to respond. I spend last week answering the unanswerable questions in the Sunday School class that I teach. I can’t imagine how empty the Christmas season must be for families that have presents that will never be opened.
I want some sort of soothing salve that I can pour over the situation and smooth away the pain and anger and fear. I want answers; so we can all make sense of this. I want to know how and why it happened; so we can make sure it never happens again. I want to know if it was the guns, mental illness, bad parenting or video games that caused this. I am looking for someone or thing to blame. I also want to choke the life out of the next person who says it was all a part of God’s plan.
Faith should provide answers to the problems of great evil. Faith should prove hope in times of grief. Faith should provide light in the midst of darkness, but spiritual giants have often witnessed the “dark night of the soul.”
Faith as a “get out of hell free card” or “fire insurance” is too often the message. My witness is to a faith where God is with us in tragedy not creating tricky escapes. My faith is in a God who deals with the tough times. My faith is in a God who weeps.
My faith is also in a God who loves and laughs. I suspect there is a lot of time spent giggling at my foolishness. My faith is in a God who can use tragedy; not one who seeks or causes it. I believe that in the midst of grief, God’s love is still present providing hope.
My faith is in a God who entrusts us with a mission to make the world better. Most amazingly my faith is in a God who has faith in us,,,yep you and me. Ain’t that crazy!