I’ve been reading and watching the coverage of the shooting at a Connecticut Elementary School since yesterday afternoon. It’s been difficult to say the least as I am the father of 3 boys, 2 of which are still in elementary school. When these events happen we’re always left with questions like “Why?” “What kind of person could do this?” and “How could God allow this to happen?”
I know that this blog is more about pop culture but this tragedy is too big to be ignored. My pastor’s heart is weighing heavier than my nerd side.
I hope to make two points this morning. First, I hope to answer how a tragedy like this could happen. Secondly, I hope to show that in each of these tragedies there is a beauty that comes that shines a light in these dark moments of history.
To answer the first question we’re going to have to go really far back into our story, the story of humanity to find our answers.
When God first created man, He created him in His own image. Our wisdom, our ability to create and tell stories, our strength, our compassion for others – all gifts that reflect God’s nature and character.
One other thing that God gave to us was the freedom of choice. There was no natural pull in man to rebel. But it was a choice and an option that God gave.
As the Creation story goes on we see that man was enticed into rebellion and man chose to go along with that plan. This moment has been referred to as “The Fall”.
Because of that moment in our story an important thing can be learned: God did not create sin. Our natural pull towards sin and rebellion is a result of the Fall. As one author in the Bible wrote “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17.9)
Every time we see such rebellion and tragedy, wether in the Creation story, Columbine, or Connecticut, God is not the orchestrator of the event. He has allowed us, of our own will, to commit such evils.
So what? God allows evil to happen because He allows us to choose? Yes. Is that it? No.
There is something else that happens in tragedy that is a much more beautiful picture of God. One that we have an easier time understanding.
In the ugliness of the tragedy, when people often ask “Where is God?” that is where the beauty begins.
Over the coming days and months and even years, we will see a community and a nation rally around the victims of this tragedy. People from all over will flood the victims with support, prayers, gifts, cards, and other expressions of love and compassion. It is a statement that says “Though there is great evil in this world, there is still a greater good.”
People will offer and give whatever help they can.
Friends, family, and total strangers will weep with the victims’ families.
In those moments, there is a beautiful expression of God’s love.