A comment was made by a young mother friend of mine in the tsunami wake of this horror filled week of news. She questioned herself about bringing a child into this world of hate, discrimination, rape, violence, abuse, and fear. I needed to process those thoughts to find the ground upon which I stand. I understand her heartfelt question and the fear and responsibility that accompanies it…because I, too, felt it as a new mother. I came to realize that in the role of motherhood, it eventually becomes another organ, a systemic part of who you are. Even with adult children, those questions are still there…lurking.
In thinking of her words I realized, with much sadness, the evils that she listed have always been with us. This moved me beyond a motherhood category question to one of Faith. I think in times of atrocity and calamity, such as these, we try to understand our God to find our Hope. Why do bad things happen to good people? Where is God when these things are taking place? Who is God that He would allow them? Even though I am a Christ follower, I believe that any faith-path that one happens to be traveling, whether it be Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslim, searches for meaning in the midst of these heart breaking recent circumstances. We ask questions that will never have satisfying answers, but rather ones that still must be sorted out somehow deep within our souls. I am not trying to convince you….I am trying to convince me.
Since the Garden of Eden, we were born into a fallen world filled to overflowing with the sins of humanity. Adam and Eve were confronted with evil and chose not to trust God with the knowledge they felt He was withholding. They chose poorly. I think that residual perfection lies within us to give us a glimpse of the way God originally intended it to be to give us hope. We easily recognize what it may look like with Mother Teresa, who selflessly poured out her compassion and care on the poor and the unloved. We feel it in our hearts when we hold our babies for the first time and put our selfishness and needs momentarily on hold for theirs. We sense the beauty of it in our animal world when different species, that are predator and prey, override the system to lie down together.
How do we reconcile evil acts with our loving God? I . don’t . know. I don’t understand a world of hate, discrimination, abuse, and violence. I don’t understand why bad things happen to good people OR why good things happen to bad people for that matter. I don’t understand why any of these horrible things happened this week. However, I am reminded of a story Corrie Ten Boom told in The Hiding Place about her Father when she asked him a question.
“He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor. “Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said. I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning. “It’s too heavy”, I said. “Yes”, he said, “and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
When I am confronted by evil, like we’ve witnessed this week, it also thrusts me into a position of choosing to trust my Heavenly Father, as I seek the knowledge to understand and answer those difficult questions. I am reminded that good relationships are built on trust. I must acquiesce and declare that this knowledge is just too heavy. There is a song that I love with the words, Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. That is my prayer, and I will ask my Him to carry this load for me.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
~ Proverbs 3:5