You know what’s awesome? Having your 2 year old tell you he needs to potty…while you’re in the shower. All parents of toddlers know that when a potty-training child says pee-pee, you jump. Nothing like leaning over the toilet, helping direct a stream of pee, wrapped in a towel and dripping wet. That was me on Friday morning.
After last Friday, this silly situation along with all the other ridiculous things our kids do to drive us crazy, were seen in a new light. I saw friends on Facebook anxiously awaiting their kids return from school ready for a big hug. Parents who wanted to crawl in bed with their small ones that night just so they could hold them close. Joining in play time instead of turning on the TV. The grief of the parents in Connecticut has become our grief and opened our eyes to how quickly childhood slips by. Once again, our world is turned upside down and we take stock of what is really important. Once again we wonder how, why and where. How and why could God let this happen? Where was God when this horrific event took place?
We all have to answer our own questions to make sense of the senseless. After reflection and tears I have come up with the only answer that I can imagine to make any sense. God did not allow this to happen. It just did. Horrible things happen in this world because it’s an imperfect world. Where was God? God was there. We call God compassionate but have we ever thought about what that really means? Com (with) Passion (suffering). God is there/here suffering with us. God is not far away in the cosmos watching it all happen. God is experiencing all of it with us, knowing the pain of those parents, holding those children in His love, experiencing our confusion and grief. How bitterly ironic that the unthinkable happened 10 days before we celebrate God made flesh. Just as we are about to celebrate God’s best expression of love, we experience the darkest part of free will.
One thing I do know for sure is that what happened is not a result of God’s anger at our country. Horrible things happening, hurricanes or otherwise are not God’s punishment on the east coast for falling away from Christian doctrine. If I hear of any blogger out there trying to spread this hate filled message I’m going to scream. Hear me loud and clear, trying to justify hate and evil with the will of God is a big hot steaming pile of crap and I’m not going to stand back and let Christians be led down that destructive and divisive path. You know how I know this to be true? Get ready because I’m about to pull out every bible thumper’s trump card. John 3:16 AND 17. We all know it, say it with me. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Wait, there’s more and it’s really important. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. God made himself a part of this world to save it, not condemn it. He loved all the world, not just a select few who feel themselves worthy. All the world, the innocent babies, the beautiful heroes and the tormented souls. All that angry vengeful stuff went out the window when the cross entered the picture. There isn’t room for condemnation and revenge in compassion and unconditional love.
I can’t begin to imagine the sorrow and grief those families in Connecticut are experiencing. All I can do is hug my boys a little tighter, cherish their silly antics and open my heart to experience compassion for those that are suffering. Only when we can let go of hateful, angry rhetoric and the lie that God wants to punish us by allowing pain and destruction, can we begin to heal.