When Words Aren’t Enough
There are no words that seem adequate for the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. I’ve been left speechless, as many of you have, at this horrific event. My thoughts, prayers and love go out to all the families touched by this tragedy. Like so many, I wish there was more I could do.
Since Friday, I’ve heard a lot of “This is why I don’t believe in God” or “If there was a God, this stuff wouldn’t happen” or “Why does God allow it?”
I think the most honest response I can give you is that there are some questions that have no answer, and in this case “Why?” is one of them. I don’t know why this happened, and anyone who says they do is giving you spin.
In his book Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning writes about trusting in God. “Unwavering trust is a rare and precious thing,” he writes, “because it demands a degree of courage that borders on the heroic. When the shadow of Jesus’ cross falls across our lives in the form of failure, rejection, abandonment, betrayal, unemployment, loneliness, depression, the loss of a loved one; when we are deaf to everything but the shriek of our own pain; when the world around us suddenly seems a hostile, menacing place—at those times we may cry out in anguish, ‘How could a loving God permit this to happen?’ At such moments the seeds of distrust are sown. It requires heroic courage to trust in the love of God no matter what happens to us.”
Dozens of families in Connecticut are still unable to hear anything but the shrieks of their own pain. And the world does seem more hostile and menacing. If innocent children in a well-to-do suburb can be randomly slaughtered, is any place truly safe from evil?
We live in a broken, fallen, messed-up world that desperately needs God, and that’s why He came to earth himself. The apostle John writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5).
There is evil in the world, but Jesus has overcome it. So while I don’t know why this tragedy happened, I choose courageous trust in a loving God. Words are not enough, but the Word is.
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