Sunday, December 23, 2012

Questioning the Mind of God

I said I was going to look for some answers.  So that’s what I’ve done.
I’ve talked.
I’ve listened.
I’ve read.
I’ve asked questions.

And I think I could do this for a lifetime, make it my life’s work to understand how and why God allows tragedy.

But other people have done that.  I don’t really need to rewrite the books on bad things that happen to good people. And really I’m not a qualified theologian who can explain the mind of God to anyone. 

As it turns out, no one can explain the mind of God.  (That’s one of the big take-aways from the book of Job.) 

The fact is that we live in a world of Sin.  This sin entered into the formula long ago and is a part of each of us.  We are all capable of more heinous things than we’d like to admit.

But when something terrible happens and we spend time trying to understand our world and our God,
we get a bigger picture; we get a little closer.

Get a Topical Bible.  Do a Biblegateway search.  On evil.  On what God allows.  On sin.  On suffering.

After a while my interest goes form wondering if God knows what He’s doing, to wondering if we know what we’re doing.  And I land near something my sister Amanda posted:

...There is absolutely not one thing to blame here, and if all we do is spend our time arguing about what that one thing is, we're not going to get anywhere. It's a complex culture we've created - one in which the NRA has more money than God and to go against them in advocating for some form of gun control means to risk one's political career and therefore ability to create change; one in which we cut mental health services time and time again, and have decided that prison is the best place for people who are sick; one in which we make fun of those who we deem "strange" and inadvertently teach our children to do the same, pushing them further and further from any sense of community (which is the very thing that often keeps the rest of us sane); one in which we are not only numb but almost addicted to depictions of violence, so much so that I often hear people cheer in movie theaters when horrific acts of violence take place because it's being aimed at the "bad" guy. 

But are we all just going to keep talking about it, or are we going to do something? Are we going to teach our children to treat everyone with kindness? Are we going to write letters to our representatives? Are we going to pray for "thy Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven"?...

Questioning God makes sense at a time like this.  I get that.  But for those of us who have not lost loved ones in this tragedy, after the initial shock has worn off, doesn't it make sense to also look inward?  Instead of blaming outside factors – What can WE DO in this world TODAY to make a positive difference in people’s lives?

Whether it’s a spouse
a child
a neighbor
a co-worker
or a stranger. 
Whether they are like us, or the opposite.
Whether they share our values, or don’t.
Whether we understand them, or not.

To bring a little less suffering.
To cause a little more joy.
To share the comfort we've received.
To make someone feel accepted and loved as they are.
As God made them.

THIS is closer to the mind of God.

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