Acceptable answers don’t exist. We are told repeatedly by our religious leaders and faith-filled friends that the answers are not for us to know–at least not now. One day we will know, the adage goes. Today is not the day. You will not find the answer here. I don’t have them. I apologize to you now for not having the answers for you; the same answers I am seeking. Where is God in tragedy?
My venture will be clumsy but I have to make the journey because to do nothing is too crippling and mires me to the anguish. At this point I’m on the quest for hope. Whether you believe in a benevolent God or God at all, I believe in humanity; yes even after Sandy Hook. Maybe–especially after Sandy Hook. Humanity is the only place I can look for answers right now.
A lady once told me that every time she looked into someone’s face the first thing she saw was the face of God. I can remember the discussion was about intolerance and literature and teaching and she was older than I. We were at an English teachers’ conference and her words struck me with such an epiphany of clarity that I have never forgotten the moment. What intolerance led to such an event in Newtown is unclear. How much intolerance measures out the young lives of those taken who cannot possibly have done wrong? Did the carnage erase the calamity he was dealt that drove him to such a rage? Evidently not, since his life was the last he took.
So if you pay attention to God, if you believe, or attention to goodness, or to simple humanity EVERY time you look into the face of another, and filter your thoughts and actions from that angle, maybe, just maybe, the evil that pervades our earth will lose its stronghold and God (insert whatever) won’t have to be doubted. Try to live like the children of Sandy Hook did in their innocence and ignorance to intolerance. Step up as the parents of these children are in their humble handling of a loss so egregious it could have turned them to ash in the firehouse when the words were heard. Be the reflected face of God and extend kindness before rudeness; acceptance before judgment; assistance before blindness; charity before stinginess but most of all love before indifference and power earth with the good that should connect us all instead of tragedy that draws us together shouting why and God where are you?