Newtown, I just have one question today for our readers.
Where was God?
The shooting massacre we saw in Newtown, Conn., has been one in a number of too many atrocities like this across the country (not to mention the world.)
While most little children are playing with dreidels, eating latkes and jelly donuts, lighting menorahs, opening presents, writing letters to Santa, dreaming of sugar plums dancing in their heads, trimming the tree and singing carols, 20 little children are dead, gunned down by a young man..
President Obama was weeping.
“The majority of those who died today were children,” he said Friday. “Beautiful little children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them – birthdays, graduations, wedding, kids of their own.”
Why did this happen? Who thought this was a great idea. Was this really God’s plan for these children, for the shooter, for his mother, who he also killed along with six other adults?
“May God bless the memory of the victims,” said the president, “and in the words of scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.”
But why would God bless the memory of the victims when the all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God made this happen? Why would he then want to heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds?
And if he isn’t any of these things why do we thank him, pray to him, ask him to bless these children. Either he is or he isn’t.
The atheists would say there is no God. So what’s the question? There is no reason for any of this. There is no meaning.
Believers will say that God works in mysterious ways. We cannot know God’s mind. We can only trust that he knows best and that he does have a plan. They say we will learn the cause of suffering and evil in the next life. All will be revealed to us.
That wouldn’t be much of a consolation for me if it were one of my children gunned down today, right before one of the holiest days of the year for Christians, the birthday of God’s only begotten son who died on the cross for our salvation.
These children didn’t get salvation. They got death. Maybe in another life they will but that may not be enough of a consolation for the parents.
Apparently rabbis and ministers and priests were called to the scene. One Catholic priest was interviewed on TV the night of the shooting. Sobbing, he said, “What can you say? There are really no words. ... It’s surreal. ... These are 20 people the week before Christmas who just lost their joy. How do you deal with that?”
There was a memorial that night. And there will be many services at local churches and synagogues in the next few weeks.
What will they say? Will they ask God why this happened?
If any of our readers has the answers please let me know.
Related content on On Faith:
* Graham: Why the shock and awe?
* Pace: Comfort the grieving
* Stanley: In tragedy we grieve; in God, we hope
* Thistlethwaite: God weeps: 27 children, staff killed in Conn. school shooting