Where is God in Tragedy?

This isn’t my attempt to be meaningful among the noise of everyone’s opinion. Only my thoughts as I try to process . . .

It has happened again. Innocent children have been murdered while parents across the country hold their children, trembling in fear. As for me, I numbly read the newsfeed as it keeps me updated on what I only reluctantly want to know.

Tears well up and begin falling against my will as I sit in this coffee shop. My heart grieves. And grieve we must. As the parent of three, fear sets in. And so it should. In these times, we should let that pain and fear wash over us, grip us, and shake us. Perhaps this is a time we should be asking questions and questioning our answers.

But in all our questioning, the question I no longer understand is “Where is God?”

What do you mean “Where is God?” Why implicate God in this? This is our violence. This is our brokenness. Do not look up with accusatory eyes. Do not even look up with eyes needing answers. Do not look up at all. Look around. Look in. Violence is in us, around us, & through us. God himself died at the hands of our violence 2,000 years ago.

Perhaps it’s my personality. Perhaps it’s my theology. Whatever it is, I no longer ask “Where is God?”

Instead, I first grieve without questions & without answers. I just sit. And cry. I do not want to be consoled by answers and I do not want to be burdened by questions. I just want to be present.

And once I have walked through my grief, the question I ask will not be “Where was God?” but it will be “How will the God of peace live through me?” How will God work through humanity to build a peaceful world? And how can I be a participant? A place of peace for the people in my life?

Where is God? He is in me. And the responsibility is ours.

But for now, I must go back to grief. Not to confront it with pseudo-answers. But to let it wash over me, trusting that God is also the God of my grief, the one who does not answer the question of evil, but the one who came to earth to share in it with us.

2 responses to “Where is God in Tragedy?

  1. Jared,

    I am way behind on my reading and just caught up to this now. This is the best response to that tragedy that I have read. It echoes things that I felt but have not been able to express. The anger at God is a complex thing and I never deny anyone to have it. But I can’t share it, like you because I own that brokenness.

    Thanks for writing this.


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