Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

Where Were You God? ~Rae

on April 17, 2013

where were you God?

Another child dead. Inconceivable.

Another family ripped to pieces. Incomprehensible.

Another tragedy with senseless violence and death. Inexplicable.

In December, America had the Sandy Hook massacre; in January, two little girls from my daughter’s school died because of a drunk driver; now, the Boston bombing has devastated a nation. I am sure I am not alone when I shriek, “I have had enough!”

President Obama was right when he stated the nation’s heart is broken after all the tragic events. I can’t seem to stop crying. I find myself alternating between obsessively watching the news to desperately turning it off in an attempt to get my mind off of the loss of children. As a mother, I can somewhat relate to the victims.  I am thousands of miles away and my kids are safe, but I am still a blubbering mess.  It causes me to want to scream at God, “Why? Where were you? What the hell is going on in our world????”

Truthfully, I have no business trying to step into the shoes of these families. Having never been through such a significant loss in my life, how can I possibly even begin to fathom what it is like to lose a child?  Sure- I can offer support and prayers, but that really doesn’t seem like it makes a dent in the pain.   I can fundraise, donate blood, and give of my time, but in no way can I truly UNDERSTAND the pain.

This train of thought has led me to make an interesting connection. While I myself have no personal experience with the level of grief and sorrow those parents and families must be feeling, God does and that is actually what the Bible is really about!

Although the beginning of the Salvation story is about a miraculous birth, in the ultimate conclusion of the story God loses a child, His one and only son, to a painful, torturous death. Therefore, He does understand exactly how it feels to stand despairingly by while violence takes His precious loved one.

What amazes me most about this Biblical account is that even while knowing His child would be murdered, God did nothing to stop it. The story progressed the way it had been foretold in the Old Testament and Jesus was crucified 33 years after his birth. Most of us would do anything to save our children- ANYTHING. Yet, God allowed this tragic event to happen because He knew it must so that others might be saved. He knew that Jesus had to take on all the sins of the world to offer a respite from EVIL. He understood that Jesus must hang on the cross so Martin Richard, Haven Penman, Charlotte Bacon, Vicki Soto and all the other individuals lost in senseless tragedies would not die in vain. He allowed Jesus to be whipped and tortured, dying bloodily and weak so that He could offer Heaven to everyone, even a terrorist or Adam Lanza if they chose it.

I know there are many people who do not believe this Bible story happened literally and that it is more a historical allegory for us to learn from, but I need to believe this actually happened. If it did not literally take place then I feel like there is no purpose to my being on this planet. If there is no Heaven to receive these beautiful sweet murdered children and no special place in hell for the excrement who hurt children, then I do not know why any of us would follow the rules. We should instead adhere to the old selfish saying, “eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die”.  If the Bible isn’t true, then there should be more anarchy and more individuals who care nothing for their fellow man. There has to be a Heaven and a Hell, there must be good and evil, and there must be forgiveness to those who ask. Only if there is a Heaven can there be a teacher willing to shield her students with her body, like Ms. Soto did in Newtown. She sacrificed herself just as Christ sacrificed himself for all of us. Only if there is a Heaven can there be police, firefighters, and doctors running toward the Boston bomb site instead of away from it. Only if there is a Heaven can two girls’ senseless deaths caused by a drunk driver bring a community together. So I do believe in Heaven and I do believe in God. I believe God was right there in the school that day weeping as the Sandy Hook events occurred. I believe God was also there during the Boston bombing, gathering the lost immediately into His arms to carry them to the very real Heaven. I believe God is always there just waiting for us to turn to him.

I know we all want answers to the questions of why, how, and how do we prevent this kind of devastation from ever occurring again. These questions are complicated and the answers are multi-pronged. These conversations will probably continue for years.  However, there is one easy answer to why murders occur, because EVIL exists. It has always existed. If we take away EVIL’s guns, then EVIL will pick up knives. If we take away EVIL’s knives, then EVIL will pick up rocks. If we take away EVIL’s rocks, then EVIL will use its bare hands because EVIL is real. Unfortunately, no amount of gates, barricades, or fortresses we build will destroy EVIL. No amount of preparedness will completely stop EVIL. We cannot control what others choose. If people choose to become EVIL, then tragic events like this will occur as they have throughout history.

So how do we fight EVIL? We choose GOOD and control ourselves. We try to be models of what GOOD is like the Sandy Hook principal and teachers. We choose GOOD over drinking and driving or other reckless behaviors.   We run towards the wounded like the first responders did in Boston. We outnumber and overwhelm EVIL. We battle EVIL with the only defense and weapon EVIL truly fears- LOVE. Because God so loved the world… and Ms. Soto so loved her students… and the Americans so love their country… LOVE vanquishes EVIL.

LOVE triumphs over EVIL because LOVE can’t be murdered and LOVE never dies.

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