See the Light

When hearing about tragedies such as the recent school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, it often leads to ask the question, “why does God let bad things happen?” Pastor Dave also discussed this subject in his sermon on Sunday. In pondering this question myself, the answer that comes to me is that God doesn’t let bad things happen, but rather he allows humans to have free will and through that there are those in the world that act out in bad ways.

There is a passage in the book “The Shack” by Wm Paul Young, where the character of God explains free will. “Nobody knows what horrors I have saved the world from ‘cuz people can’t see what never happened. All evil flows from independence, and independence is your choice. If I were to simply revoke all the choices of independence, the world as you know it would cease to exist and love would have no meaning. This world is not a playground where I keep all of my children free from evil. Evil is the chaos of this age that you brought to me, but it will not have the final say. Now it touches everyone that I love, those who follow me and those who don’t. If I take away the consequences of people’s choices, I destroy the possibility of love. Love that is forced is no love at all.”

I don’t know if this is good theology or not, but it did speak to me and provided an explanation to which I can relate. I also agree that even as there are many evils that we may witness and hear about, there are many other evils that may have never been acted out. And, in fact, there may be many more miracles taking place that we are unaware of, haven’t acknowledged, or haven’t looked for. 

In another passage from “The Shack” the character of God goes on to say, “just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means that I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.” As I pray for those in Texas, and elsewhere, who are suffering from senseless acts of violence, I also pray to see the light and the beauty that shines through the fissions and cracks.

Kelley Evans

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