As I write this there is endless news coverage of the tragic terror attacks in London. And it’s like I have no emotion. I’m numb. There’s so much pain and fear and hatred and it feels so big, so much bigger than I.
I want to fool myself that it’s far away and it’s happening to THEM – you know, everybody except me and my family. But the truth is, tragedy and evil can touch ANYBODY’S life. It can happen while we’re shopping or at church or tucked away for the night in our beds or driving to work.
As a Christian, how do I deal with the question of when bad things happen to good people?
I’ve stopped asking myself that question. Because the truth is, we live in a broken world. And just as we all get to breathe the air, we all get touched by the brokenness. People around us are broken. People are alone, lonely, misfits, scared, defiant, hopeless, angry, broken.
So the question I’m asking myself instead is:
As a Christian, what do I DO about all this brokenness?
First of all, I recognise that I, too, am broken. I struggle with fear. Anxiety. Wanting to hate those who hate and hurt those who hurt.
Then I acknowledge that God sent Jesus to heal us of our brokenness. If we accept His sacrificial death on our behalf and commit to following Him, we get to start on that road to healing and wholeness and relationship with Him that He calls ‘eternal life’.
The hardest part is where I grapple with the second of two missions God has given me. The first mission is to love Him. That’s easy. The second is to love others, showing that love by telling and teaching others about Him.
That’s hard. Really hard.
But if I tell someone about Jesus’ love, they may accept Him and begin to have a relationship with Him. Then they begin to experience His peace in the midst of fearful circumstances. His acceptance and love that will shatter their isolation. His enabling and empowering that will give them the courage to love when they have every earthly right to hate.
It’s not that simple – and yet it is that simple. I may not be able to stop terrorists detonating bombs or driving onto crowded bridges. But I can demonstrate Christ’s love to my neighbour who may be deathly afraid of what’s happening in the world. In my own brokenness, God can use me to spread His healing.
I want to take that step. How about you?