This past Friday started as a normal Friday for me. I fixed coffee, went to a 6 am Bible study, and took the girls to school. After that, I started on my thrift store circuit (I bought a Thermos!). But this would not remain a normal Friday.
Mid-morning I began to notice a few posts on Facebook about a school shooting in Connecticut. At lunch, I fired up Google News on my phone and sat in stunned silence as I read the news about Sandy Hook Elementary. I cut my thrifting short and went home to turn on the news. The only way I can describe how I felt is this: heart-broken.
That feeling hasn’t changed much over the past three days.
The question that always gets asked in these kind of situations is this: Where was God? I understand where that question comes from. It’s the question a broken heart asks.
But God didn’t dress up in body armor, strapped with three guns, and go into that elementary school with the intention of doing mass carnage. A man did. A man who may be described as disturbed, mentally ill, or outright evil — but still a man. A man who chose to do the things he did.
We live in a fallen world among fallen people.
The tragedy in Newtown, CT, is another reminder that this world can be a very dark place. Our world is broken and out of sorts. Darkness is all around.
So, where was God?
He was at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday. He was there in the brave acts of teachers and administrators who gave their lives to save the lives of others. He was there in the courage of the first responders. He will continue to be there as the community (and the country) responds with love and compassion. He will be there to take the angry shouts. He will be there in the quiet moments when memories come flooding back.
When Jesus died on the cross, darkness and light collided. At one point, even Jesus felt forsaken as he bore our sins in his body — an act that created separation between him and his Father. But darkness did not triumph. The darkness of the cross was eclipsed by the light of the empty tomb.
Light will always prevail. It may not be immediately or in the way we envision, but light wins.
Hold to the light.