Saturday, August 9, 2008

Remembering a Moment of Madness


On the way to Texas our mission team stopped in Oklahoma City at the Memorial to the bombing of the federal building in April, 1995. It is a beautiful and moving tribute to the victims of the bombing and a disturbing reminder of the horrific results of violence and hatred in our world, even in our own land.

Among the many questions such an tragic, numbing event raises in our minds is the question of God's justice, His righteous judgment against evil in the world. When we come to stare evil face to face, it can bury our own faith in the dust and debris, in the bloodshed and broken hearts, until we are ready to shake an angry fist in the face of God who seems passive or powerless to intervene. "Where are you, God? People are suffering. Innocent blood is spilt. Somebody's children are sacrificed on the altar of hatred. Why don't you do something, God?"

Maybe you've been there yourself. Perhaps you have been the victim of violence or abuse or some senseless tragedy. And you know how it feels to have your faith shaken down to its cracked, weathered foundation. In those dark and angry moments, the questions we demand of God are not unfamiliar to His ears. Our questions are Calvary questions. He has heard those words before.

An old hymn gives voice to our stubborn hope in the final purposes of God.
This is my Father's world, O let me ne'er forget, That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father's world. The battle is not done; Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and heaven be one.

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