There is an image I cannot now get out of my head. You may have seen it. I wont attach the visual. Instead I leave a frame to honor the little boy whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey. My heart aches for him, for them, for us. Refugees are flooding away from the terror in the Middle East. A truck stuffed with 71 suffocated souls was left on the side of the road in Austria. Traffickers entice the desperate into what becomes more desperation. Is this not increasing horror? How do we manage this, how does my own heart respond? To ignore it is easier but I cannot. To post something about beauty, or about hope now is excruciating. I used to wonder how people handled terrible events during WW2. Now I feel I am living it.
Evil is not explainable to the skeptic; the materialist can’t accommodate this as reality, he has to deny it. Or he chooses to shame those who don’t follow his idea of rules. It seems now that all rules are moot. All are mute.
It is noticeable to me that when confronted with such horror, a natural response is to push any idea of God away in disgust. We judge Him according to our notion of good (and where did that come from?) while we will not accommodate any notion of evil. As judge of God then, and name-caller of God followers, the mocker now feels safe. You see the put-downs and the bullying on social media. This is how we hide, anesthetizing ourselves from owning what is happening around us and within us.
But to face it full on is painful! And it seems to me that those of us who still hold conviction that God sees, that He cares have greater pain reconciling such horror in real time. If you actually believe that there is a God who exists and who cares, then where is He? His silence now is extremely troubling. If you do not hold to a God, then what difference does any of this make: none. It all means nothing. I believe we should be troubled.
The prophets saw, and wept. Jeremiah said “wilt Thou indeed be to me like a deceptive stream with water that is unreliable?” (15:18b)
Habakkuk blurted “How long O Lord, will I call for help And Thou wilt not hear, I cry out tho Thee ‘Violence’ Yet Thou dost not save.” (1:2)
Daniel: “So, I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. . .” (9:3)
Here is some summary of what these men learned.
Do not mistake God’s seeming silence as tolerance. He sees. He is at work. And He gave answer to each prophet’s cry.
Do not mistake a terrible length of time as a sign of His impotence. He has verbalized a specific plan. He is coming back to judge. And the time lag that remains is more a sign of mercy for you to look up before it is too late.
Would you have the courage to take your own blurting questions not to others but to Him?
“And there is Hope, because of Him.
So sure and steadfast, on which my heart lays hold,
On high He hears, He’ll come from hiding
And heal the bruise that He foretold.”
“O Come great Captain, Captain of my soul
Re-create Creator, cleanse and make me whole.
The curse Commander, is a Covenant keeper!
In your care I rest, Captain of my soul.”
“And in upheavals of unbelief
that You will usher, while so urgent to reach.
Unrighteous came we, and would remain
Apart from You underneath, My God who came.”