Tuesday, December 18, 2012

“Why did this happen?” A reflection on the tragedy in Newton.

It has been a difficult few days for the parents and families of those young children and adults killed in the Newton, CT shooting.    I don’t think I’ve ever been as profoundly impacted to my core as I was this time.  OKC and 9/11 were awful, but for some reason this tragedy touched me deeply.  I’m not sure if it is because of the spiritual renewal I’ve experienced this year or the fact that I’m now a father and my daughter is 7 years old – the same age as some of the children who were murdered.  In whatever event, I’ve caught myself, with news snippets, pictures, and videos on-line, coming to tears on several occasions.  My heart has actually ached for those families, yet I know it is nothing in comparison to what they are feeling.  I am grieving for them and pray that God will send them strength and comfort during this difficult time.

Many people wonder and ask, “where was God” during all of this?  “Why did God allow this to happen?”  “Did God Plan this?”  In spite of the horrendous nature of this tragedy, it is important that we recognize this for what it was – Evil.  God has given us all free will.  Free will is God’s gift to us.  Evil is in this world because of sin and it is temptation and the associated free-will that drives some people to do evil things.  We must not forget that God does not make evil happen.  People CHOSE to do evil things. 

I’ve heard others say that sometimes out of tragedy comes good, but it is hard to imagine what good can come out of this one.  I sincerely believe that many people have good in them already, and it sometimes takes an evil thing like this for those same persons to show what is already there.  There has been an outpouring of love for these victims.  And, I think that while this terrible event shows the evil and hate that humans are capable of, so does it show our capacity for deep love and compassion. 

When we or those around us question “why” this all happened, let us not forget that our Father also gave up his only Son.  He knows what it is like to lose a child.  He did it willingly in order that we all might understand the love He has for us by sacrificing His only Son for man’s salvation. 

As we approach Christmas next week, let’s all take time with our families around the dinner table to give thanks for our many blessings and to pray that God sends his grace to comfort those families and all people saddened by this tragedy.  Lord hear our prayer. . .Amen. 

1 comment:

  1. Our message on Sunday was WHY? If you are interested take some time to watch it. http://vimeo.com/55744824

    Merry Christmas