It seems inevitable that after a tragedy like a mass bombing, school shooting or someone shoots up a movie theater the articles entitled, “Where is God?” make headlines. In these “probing” articles, you get the sense that God should have flown down from his lofty throne and scooped up children just before the bomb exploded or a ray of bullets violated their bodies. When we ask this question, are we really searching for an objective proof of a deity or are we asking, “How do we find meaning is this horrible act”? In a time of chaos and complexity, our tendency is to move towards our instinctual humanity and search for meaning. In our search for meaning, why do we ask as if God can only be found as a “protector”? Is it our expectation that God’s role is to “grab our arm and pull us from danger”? But, are we really asking why God did not reach out and save our precious children from this unspeakable act of evil? It seems as if God’s only reason for existence is to save helpless little ones from a short-lived life. And of course, that did not happen so we must conclude that God is not to be found. Yet I ask, can God only be found in acts of protectionism? Is God trapped by our primal preoccupation to be safeguarded from the evils of our world?
Or maybe, God is less about guardianship and more about companionship. Can God be found in the bravery of a man who runs towards the blast to aid the injured? Or in the courage of a police officer who confronts the madmen in order to bring them to justice? Or in the boldness of a concerned citizen who calls “911” to report blood on his boat? Or in the determination of doctors and nurses who with great skill prevent the death of severely injured people? Or could God be found in the hope it takes the injured to decide to amputate their leg and replace it with a prosthetic one? Maybe, God is discovered in turning the trauma of losing a child into a life-giving gift by donating her organs and creating a foundation to urge people to register to be an organ donor. In our wanted pursuit to find God the hero, do we overlook the God of unrelenting love, unwavering courage, deepening strength and restoring presence or more simply stated, God with Us?
—Move beyond just tolerating each other and towards truly appreciating one another.