This is a question that was proposed on a forum I read today regarding the elementary school shooting in Connecticut. The questioner went on to express a rant about the failure of God’s plan and the lunacy of Christians for believing in such a “prick of a deity”.
The evil of this act is immense. It shocks the soul of people who cannot fathom how anyone can kill innocent children. Nonbelievers ask, “Where was your God?” Believers ask, “Why would God let this happen?”
We tend to see God as our protector. We expect that God should step before the bullets or will differently the mind of a madman who would do harm to innocent lives. Our expectations fail and we are left with confusion and questions and finally rationalizations that God has a plan, or God works in mysterious ways. There is no plan or design from God in this tragedy. But God is present in the midst of this atrocity.
The following words are not intended to be an answer. They are merely my thoughts during prayer; thoughts that help me, as a parent, to ease the heartbreak of this senseless massacre.
God is in the love these parents have for their children. God is in the love the teachers, some of whom lost their lives, expressed toward these children in protecting and comforting them. God is in the love the community and the nation pours out in support of these grieving families who are facing the most horrible tragedy any parent can face.
God is abandoned within the soul of the gunman, who could look into the innocent face of a child and pull a trigger. God is lost from the soul of an atheist who uses this tragedy to promote his view that prayers are a meaningless waste of time.
God is not physical or existent in the aspects and occurrences of the physical. God is spirit and our interaction and engagement with God is through spirit alone. We experience God when we give and receive love; when we offer hope and comfort to others; when we stand against evil and despair with a love stronger.
Let us all stand together in the spirit of love and pray that the families of these children and teachers will find some measure of comfort and peace in the midst of such suffering.