Everyday we hear of some crisis in our world; in our nation; in our community. And each time something happens, God is put on trial. If not in our hearts, then certainly in our own minds. You know those mental question, “why did this happen” or “how are You, God, complicit in this tragedy, did you cause it to happen” or “why did you allow it to happen”?
And then those of us who are faithful to the Faith, feel obligated to come up with our own answers and platitudes. Whether we have tapped in to the heart of God, or not, we feel obliged to testify for the One who is on trial.
During this season of Thanksgiving there are those, like the families, friends and loved ones of the school children in that bus crash in Tennessee who will question what do they have to be thankful for. “How could a loving God allow this to happen”? “What is the redemption in this redemptive suffering“? Especially at this time of year, as if at any other time, it might be more bearable.
As a trained chaplain, may I suggest that we not try to have all the answers to the questions we don’t understand. May we not try and pretend that this crisis does not shake our faith, as well as those in the throes of crisis and suffering? Can we just admit, that like Habakkuk, we sometimes want to shake our fists at God?
Can I suggest that the most we can do is embody the very presence of Christ. Be His incarnate presence in our suffering world. To those who are in crisis. To those who have questions for which we have no answers. To those who might never see Him; who now can’t see Him in their situation – except for you. They don’t need to hear your answers. They need to experience His presence.