If I had not already lost faith in an omnipotent benefactor abiding in the heavens before, I would now, because of this.
In my home state of Tennessee a two year old child is missing, presumably lost in the woods. It has now been 72 hours since the child became lost and the search for him has commenced. With law enforcement, and search and rescue teams nearby and from neighboring states, trained search dogs, and hundreds of local and out of state volunteers on sight working in shifts to find this child, there is no progress. The dogs pick up no scent, there are not any tracks in the mud, and there are no remnants of torn clothes or lost shoes. Nothing, nada, zip. It is as if this child has vanished into thin air.
But there are prayers, lots and lots of prayers. Prayers on TV, prayers on Facebook, prayers in churches, prayers on buses filled with volunteers on their way to the search site. Prayers upon prayers to a deity with a deaf ear.
There are those who continue to have faith in an omniscient God with a merciful heart, able and willing to show grace and compassion to those in need, but I am not one of them. What need could be greater than the safe return of this vulnerable and innocent baby lost in the woods with no protection from the elements or predators?
They pray, “Let your angels surround him and guide him into the hands of the rescuers” , or “let the volunteers be guided to this child in need.” The answer seems to be, nope, can’t help you.
Others pray, “We are standing upon your word, where two or more agree in your name, it will be granted, in the name of Jesus, we claim this victory.” There are much more than two gathered and praying. No answer, no care, no concern.
So what is left to do but proclaim and stand upon the well-worn rationalization for unanswered prayers, “We cannot know the will of God, but one day we will know why this happened”.
And let’s just ignore the fact that in response to these numerous and ongoing prayer requests, came the cruelest act of all. A storm that brings a rain and snow mix with freezing temperatures in the low teens unleashed upon a precious, vulnerable baby, wandering lost in the woods wearing only a t-shirt and jeans, who has most likely ripped his clothes and lost his shoes and is wet with saturated urine.
The thought of this bewildered child, cold and frightened in the cold darkness of these woods nearly steals my breath with every thought of it. Please don’t try to tell me that God hears prayers, and sometimes the answer is no. In this case, that would be a cruelty that is incomprehensible. A bitterly cold storm added to this already heart wrenching situation is just rubbing salt into a gaping, bleeding wound.
If your God exists and this is the best he can do, or is willing to do, then there is no need for him at all. Unless of course, you need that promotion at work, or to find your car keys, or some sweet revenge rendered to that person who recently pissed you off
You can keep that God. I don’t need him. I need the one that would have helped this child.