What tragedy does is rocks our humanity at the core. We are so human.
So limited. So finite.
It's uncomfortable when we're faced with our frailty. Particularly when we are not prepared to face it.
We will all die. We don't know when or how. We will all suffer loss and probably it will sneak up on us, like a hideous monster who creeps around a corner and gnashes it's teeth in our face when we least expect.
And the thing most interesting to me in the past 24 hours that I've observed since the Newtown tragedy broke yesterday is about the way people in general respond to tragedy. Our humanness surfaces when we are faced with our deepest fears.
That menacing truth we all know deep down in our hearts of flesh screamed at us yesterday: we are not in control.
And that message, for some, is utterly terrifying.
So much so that they began campaigns already, shouting CHANGE, and STOP, and LAWS, and RULES and FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT. We thought about our own kids, own schools, how safe they are, how sure we feel, how secure everything is, and on we reeled.
I even started letting my head spin into doubt about whether my kids were safe; I walk around their school campus unsupervised all the time. Anyone could walk through the front gate and towards the classrooms without even making it to the office to "check in." When I'm in a hurry to a class, I do the same. The rules for adults on campus, upon reflection yesterday, seemed loose and unenforced. A little out of control.
While I know tragedy has a very productive way of exposing our vulnerabilities as a society, and while I know important change can be the result, what I see most in these sorts of movements is a feeble attempt to control something when life feels so out of control.
And here's the thing. Life IS out of control. We need to get used to it. It is completely out of OUR control, anyways. And it is wholly IN God's control.
It is never God's will for evil to reign. He never even willed us to die, in His original design for us. But sin came in. And with it came a persistent darkness that spun from the garden of Eden down through the ages. And we watch darkness reach our communities. Our marriages. Our parenting. It reaches our homes and our children. It swarms all around us.
For reasons we dare not ask or try to discover, God allows that darkness to persist. In His wisdom and for His good purposes, He allows His heart, His children, and His beauty to be trampled.
But don't think for a minute that He doesn't hate it. Yes, God hates. The Bible uses that verb a few times to describe His strong emotion. His patience will run out. It's a promise. He will one day, in terrible wrath none of us can imagine, avenge every speck of darkness in this world. That's a promise.
He is in the business of justice, friends. And He is in the business of restoration. Healing. Making beauty again from ashes.
I'm so glad He is in control.
I'm so glad I can walk in freedom today knowing that He knows. He sees. And one day, He will make His name known.
Every knee will bow.
Every tongue will confess that He is God, the Lord Almighty is His name.