In the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, people are, understandably, searching for answers. When something this horrific occurs, we want to know what or who to blame. We want to know what we can do differently so that nothing like this ever happens again.
There’s a video circulating online, an American politician.The gist of it is that we shouldn’t ask where God is when terrible things happen in schools because we (in this case the U.S. government but it fits in Canada too) have taken God out of schools.
Let me tell you something – God is infinite, ominipotent, and all-knowing. We do not have the power to remove Him from a closet, let alone an entire school system. To suggest that because we don’t preach the Bible in schools anymore or start our days with the Lord’s prayer and that, in response, God has allowed tragedies like Columbine and what happened last week in Connecticut to occur, turns the God of the universe into a petulant teenager. “Oh, fine, I didn’t want to be there anyway.”
That is not the God I worship and believe in.
God was at Sandy Hook on Friday.
That’s harder to deal with though, isn’t it? Because if God was there, why did people die?
I don’t know. I mean, I know the textbook “Christianese” answers as to “Why is there evil in the world?” But when I look at the photos of those sweet little kids and I read the story of the evil that occurred, I don’t have any answers.
I know that we live in a terrible and fallen world and we are terrible and fallen people. And I know that God is with us. I know that God – who has the power to stop us – allows us to make choices for evil. And I know that God is with us.
I believe that God wept to witness what took place. I believe He mourns with the families of the victims. I believe that those who mourn will be comforted but I don’t really know how right now.
God is in schools. He is there whether we want him or not. I know this because He has been in my life at times when I haven’t wanted Him. And there have been times when I’ve ached for His presence desperately and felt nothing. But He was there.
I have people I love who go into public schools every day and I tremble at the thought of them in such a situation. It makes me physically sick to think of. But I know – I know with my whole heart – that God walks into those schools with them. God does not stop at the door or wait across the street. No legislation could keep Him out.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.