If only…

If only our church were a little different.

If only we believed that when bad things happen, it must be part of God’s plan or even God’s will

Then maybe when one of the people we love loses a baby halfway through a pregnancy

We would be sad, but we would understand…or at least accept that

It’s part of God’s plan. It must have been God’s will.

But we are not that kind of a church

We don’t believe in a God who plans for babies to die or who wills children to grieve a lost sibling and parents to grieve a lost child

We believe in a God who is loving and good and powerful and

We don’t know why things like this happen

So we pray

And maybe we yell a little at God because, even though we don’t believe God caused it,

We want to know why God didn’t stop it

Because if we’re  being honest, we want more than a God who created us and loves us and never leaves us

We want a God who does our bidding and makes life go the way we think it should–the way we want it to

Who among us has never thought, “If only God had asked me about this…”

But we don’t believe in the personal butler kind of God anymore than we believe in the tragedy-weilding kind.

As people who put our faith in an all-loving and all-powerful God, what are we to do when we feel like that same God was asleep at the wheel?

We make food for the family

We call and send cards and e-mails to let them know that we love them

And we pray some more

We pray peace and consolation for those who are hurting

We pray that our prayers will become less angry and more reverent

We pull out our old copy of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” and hope one of the highlighted sections will speak to us once again

We struggle to reconcile what we claim to believe about God with what we are feeling right now

It would be easier if we could just chalk it up to being a part of God’s plan

But we’re not that kind of a church.


–Rev. Anne Russ








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