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