The massacre in Connecticut (20 children and six adults shot to death at an elementary school) was all over TV, radio, newspapers and social media. We couldn’t escape it, even if we wanted to.
Indeed, one blogger, struggling to deal with the tsunami of emotions brought on by this slaughter, went so far as to ask “Is this what the end of the world feels like?”
Such questions were asked beyond U.S. borders, since mass shootings happen even in countries not known for violence. People in Norway are still haunted by the indiscriminate killing of more than 70 people in July 2011. And Canadians haven’t forgotten the 1989 murder of 14 women at a college in Montreal.
With each of these events, every news report brings with it the nagging question asked by everyone from angry atheists and normally indifferent agnostics to serious people of faith: where was (is) God??
I would be a sheer idiot to attempt to provide an easy answer because it doesn’t exist.
But as a follower of Jesus, I feel confident in writing two things:
1. Every deadly attack is just one more piece of proof that God’s gift of freewill is permanent and rock solid.
When humans betray each other, we often get angry and withdraw our trust or love or commitment. Connecticut, Montreal and Norway are glow-in-the-dark proof that God is different. No matter what we do (or don’t do) to spit on the gift of freewill, God simply WILL NOT take it back.
Indeed, the Bible states it this plainly: “I [God] don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” And as we all struggle with the deaths in Connecticut, I’m profoundly grateful for this truth.
2. God was ALL OVER this event.
For example, church pastors across North America dropped their planned sermons and turned all their skills and time to addressing the massacre, even if it was only to ask the same questions and pray for the families of the victims. That may not sound like much, but it can still bring comfort to suffering people.
In addition, faith organizations like the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association sent representatives to Connecticut to help survivors, emergency responders and others deal with their emotional agony. As a serious Christian, I see these amazing people as the hands and feet of Jesus, in action where and when it matters most.
So what do you think….do these two points make any sense? Do you believe in God any more or less as a result of the Connecticut tragedy? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.