Here again I write with a heavy heart. This horrible tragedy in Las Vegas continues to hurt my heart. My Christian friends are helping by reminding me of God’s plan for how this world is turning and burning, and how it will all end. I am grateful for this reminder. Still, I have the same question that many have, including those who believe in God, those who are unsure if He exists or not, and those who are sure He doesn’t.
How do you explain the existence of evil amongst humanity?
For the believer or the unsure, you can certainly pick up a Bible, read for yourself and see what you come up with for explanation. The non-believers might try explain it in some other way, maybe a natural death and decay of relative morality or something else with more explanatory power.
We need to ask this question no matter on which rock we stand.
If you have been reading my blog for a while you know where I place my bets, to use Vegas terms. There are three themes to which I am drawn as I read the scriptures and reflect on this horrific crime. First, the common refrain of “Fear not” which gives comfort if you believe this is the word of God. Fear not for I am victorious in the end. Second, I calm down when I read verses that talk about judgement (not by man but by God). I feel my anger rise when I read the news or watch the videos, and I feel my anger subside when I remember who is the true Judge, and that He does not rule from a Nevada courtroom. And lastly, this one is tough, but there are lots of teachings about forgiveness in this book. Most people aren’t ready to talk about that yet.
And honestly, all that said about the comfort I find in these teachings, I still feel sick to my stomach as I read the stories of the victims, of lives taken in a senseless and cowardly crime of enormous proportion. Sandy Hook, 911, Orlando, France, Columbine, ok even Hitler and the Third Reich … the emotions are stirred up all over again for me. I know there were different motives and circumstances in each of those but I get the same feeling in the pit of my stomach as I think about what evil is capable of. Las Vegas (nor the world) doesn’t feel very fabulous right now as the welcome sign would suggest.
Ryan and I have a nightly routine where I lay down on his bed with the lights off and he lays in his hammock next to the window and we ask each other “God questions”. He always asks me hard ones. I ask him hard ones too.
Last night I asked him, “Ryan why do you think God allows evil things to happen and evil people to do what they do?” I didn’t want him to know why I was asking, I just wanted to see what he would say.
I thought this question would be a tough one, but it wasn’t.
He thought for a few seconds and then replied, “I guess it’s because He wants us to learn something.”