July 20, 2012 § 1 Comment
The world floods in on all of us. The world can be kind, and it can be cruel. It can be beautiful, and it can be appalling. It can give us good reason to hope and good reason to give up all hope. It can strengthen our faith in a loving God, and it can decimate our faith.
Frederick Buechner, The Longing for Home
What does one say in the shadow of such violence as visited upon Aurora, Colorado at a theater this week? No words can bring back lost life. There is no comfort to curtail the tide of sorrow for those who have suffered such violation.
As you have read here many times, our world is broken. And there are moments when we witness particularly brutal reminders of just how damaged it is. Though we don’t have to look past ourselves, in such violence we are reminded of how far our own sin would take us without the benefit of God’s restraining grace.
It all seems so random. Last week there was a shooting in the store our youngest daughter works in as a receptionist. Fortunately she was with me in another state for college orientation and registration. Katherine and I have praised God over and again. But here, this…
I offer no ‘how-tos’ or principles for understanding such tragedy. I know what you know – from the moment of the fall something has been terribly wrong with our world. Space Shuttles explode in mid-air. Seemingly quiet recluses go on murderous rampages. Tsunamis demolish countries. Babies die before being born. Soldiers – mere boys and girls – die in war. Marriages crumble. Depression ambushes sweet minds. Life breaks dear hearts.
It is all so painful.
We want to protect those we love – but ultimately we can’t even protect ourselves. We want to recoil and find political and theological resolves – all for the wrong, though understandable reason: We are afraid and we don’t want those whom we love to suffer.
What we have is Jesus.
Jesus never explained away tragedy with platitudes, nor did He shy away from it. The comfort He offered was anchored in what He would do on the cross, and accomplish in His resurrection. In these two events, one horrifically violent and unjust, and the other miraculously victorious, He would make good on His promise for a renewed world – In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
We have no answers. Not today. Not ever. We have Jesus.
And this is our good news…