Tragedy & God

How does tragedy fit into the theme of a loving God?

I have no idea

I know a churchy answer… but if I were to answer those who have lost loved ones to acts of cruelty or carelessness, or to bad luck or bad genes,  my churchiness would not be appreciated.  In fact those answers might insight well deserved anger, possibly even grief induced rage…

The thought hit me today;  do I really know God?

I know maybe 2 people I can say with complete confidence that they truly know God. They know how He moves and when they speak, He displays His desire to back them… or they reveal what He’s already doing… one way or the other, their lives are proof that they know Him.

I know a few dozen people who are genuinely pursing that kind of intimate knowledge of Him.  They are passionate about seeing Him work and take every opportunity to get in His space, to walk out the commands of Matthew 10:8 –  to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!”

Some of these people have face intense tragedy and it was the Love of God that drew them from a pit of despair into the light of hope… and yet…

Do we really know God? 

I think the answer to how does tragedy fit into the theme of a Loving God is revealed in knowing God to a degree of intimacy that few of us dare to allow, let-a-lone pursue.

It’s easy to sit back and see things we know very little about through a critical lens and judge them nonsensical or impossible, maybe ludicrous or outrageous even.  It’s easier to view life through the filter of our past experiences and present prejudices, rather than purely as it is.  To say God can’t be loving and allow tragedy, to set up barrier and walls around tender places rather than risk vulnerability of intimacy with a God who seems to have abandoned love.

Especially when I am in pain.

However, maybe there is a part of tragedy that reveals who God is.   Maybe tragedy acts like a negative before a picture is fully developed… framing elements and fragments of life that we wouldn’t otherwise see… drawing them into full color in the aftermath, in the depths of a dark room, where no light can enter except that red…

Maybe tragedy is a substance that develops intimacy if we allow it full exposure, if we let be completely naked and uncovered, to God who responds to it with Who He Is; Love.


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