STOP THE WORLD! I WANT OFF!

Sara’s mom used to say that. Last night Sara said it in a Bible study at which I was not present. Amy came home and told me. Then we “negotiated” who would get to blog it today. Amy looks tough, but she’s terrible at Indian leg wrestling. Sorry. Native American leg wrestling.

But that is how I feel today. I know it’s how many Americans feel. I won’t even attempt to understand how the families of all 33 victims are feeling. While I was complaining about my day yesterday (mad props to Sam for putting up with me. I was u-g-l-y. I had no alibi) I was struck by a “perspective moment.” It occurred to me that 33 families were living my biggest fear. On that note, if I love you, and you know who you are, then let me just say, I Love You!

I know that “Why God!?” is ringing in the souls of our countrymen today. Why does He allow these things to happen? There are lots of answers people give. He didn’t create us to be a marionette show. He is not a cosmic puppeteer wielding us for His twisted amusement. (despite what Al Pacino conveyed in The Devils Advocate) He made us to love Him, and love is impossible without choice. Aye, there’s the rub.

I think when things like this happen people have a proclivity for questioning the very existence of God. But I think these things prove that there is a God. And not just from a “If there is no God, there is no universal standard of morality, therefore who can say what is wrong or right? Standard ‘survival of the fittest’ rules apply. You’d better be able to duck faster than someone can shoot” philosophical foundation.

The brokenness that caused yesterday’s tragedy has been running rampant all over the world since Cain killed his brother. It’s the same evil that spawned the crusades, perpetuates worldwide slavery, conceived the holocaust, carries out genocide in Sudan, and is the source of my cruddy attitude. It was ruling in Abu-ghraib prison and when I hold resentment in my heart. As Papa and I agreed, “Same S. Different decade.” There is nothing new under the sun. Above all, the heart is desperately sick. Who can understand it?

None of the “security” measures a country/school/individual takes are fool proof. Bad things still happen. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. And the rules, rituals, creeds, political parties, psychology, positive thinking and all of the other humanistic remedies the world offers to explain and heal the soul from inevitable and unspeakable horrors aren’t enough.

This tragedy proves that humanity needs something outside of itself for salvation. We need something beyond what we could create to give us hope in the chaos and to cover the scars of our depravity. I don’t think “scars” is the right word. It implies that there has been healing in our festering, putrid abscess covered world. How desperate we are to have an Unchanging Saviour who meets our unchanging need for Him

And so we sit, once again mourning what we can’t understand, but somehow knowing that we were shown grace yesterday. It seems counter-intuitive, but we are anchored knowing that everything that happens, good and bad, every blessing and hurt, is designed to bring glory to the only One who can bring beauty from ashes. And maybe that’s the answer to the question “Why does He allow suffering?” He allows it because it brings Him glory. Feeding the hungry, healing the broken, accepting the outcast, executing justice for injustice, and redeeming the sinful heart of man glorifies His character. And when we participate in His work, we glorify Him.

May it be the passion of our hearts.

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3 Responses to STOP THE WORLD! I WANT OFF!

  1. Sam says:

    first, you were not u-g-l-y yesterday. you were hungry. plus, you put up with me talking about Bob (don’t you dare say it with a yankee accent), so we’re all good.

    secondly, i just don’t have words. i went home for lunch, and for the first time saw the face of the person who did this. and i started to cry. for what he did. for his family. for a world where this can happen. and because i know this ugliness, pain, massacre, tragedy, all of it, are breaking God’s heart right now too. oh Lord, turn our groanings into prayers.

  2. cheryl says:

    don’t forget to cry for him. i know you do. so i am just telling anyone who reads this. don’t forget to grieve this broken life. if it weren’t for God’s grace, we could all be in the same place.

    maranatha.

  3. Hope says:

    The News said that neighbors of his parents reported that they were “quiet and polite”. Why am I not surprised. We, as people, spend our lives pretending that we have everything we need in order to be fulfilled. And then we act shocked when someone shows us how desperately empty his is inside. May we all pray that God’s glory would be revealed to those who never knew they needed him. Good words, Cheryl.

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