A Phoenix Burning

Where Was God?

Just like many of you, I have had a difficult time processing Friday’s tragedy in Newtown. I have cried, feared, swallowed down moments of panic, reflected, prayed, quietly mourned, held my kids just a little bit longer, and gone to scary places in my mind that must be pushed down and away or the fragile thread that holds Me together could fray and come undone.

I have heard teachers praised and upheld as heroes, and have witnessed the seeds of a new attitude toward teachers sprouted. I have seen people questioning gun control laws, and how we handle the mentally ill in our world. I have seen people question the very existence of God, and I have seen the unforgiving ruthlessness that dares pronounce this tragedy a divine punishment. I have also seen people defending their beliefs in an Almighty and leaning on those for strength. People are quick to say, “What has happened to our society where innocents are slaughtered?”

Have we forgotten? Innocents have been slaughtered throughout time and place…in the great history of Man, this is not a new occurrence. However, it is easy to turn a blind eye when the slaughter is not so close.

The Rwandan Genocide

The Holocaust

The School Attacks in China

Syria

School Shootings Around the World

School Shootings in the U.S. (1764-Present)

Mass murder is not new, but our access to news of what is happening all around the world, is. I think of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” But today, we hear of every single fire, every single death toll, and we are given access to the emotional pain of those at the center of the tragedy through internet sites such as Facebook and private blogs. People are exposing their innermost sacred emotions to the public via posts that spread like wildfire, touching not only those personally connected to the suffering, but to outsiders as well. Perhaps it’s not a bad thing to be connected by this thread of empathy and mourning. The circle of support grows ever wider while so does the circle of grief.

And we ask, “Where was God?” when we we see these horrors.

I choose to Believe.

Every single solitary day, I make a choice…to Believe.

I see God in Ann Marie Murphy, whose body was found shielding the children in an apparent attempt to save them.

I see God in Victoria Soto who also died shielding her children.

I see God in the First Responders, the Staff who comforted those left in the moments following the shooting.

I see God in a Nation in Grief, where even hardened hearts mourn the lives of the innocents and question how anyone could commit such an evil act.

I see God in every sunrise, in every “I love you,” in every blessed moment of grace that has come to us “outsiders” that make us recognize our precious gifts, the love of family, and the sacred touch of a child’s hand in ours, the peaceful moments in our own homes, the Gift of an Ordinary Day.

It is easy to question the existence of a God that would “allow” such horrors.

But we forget, God gifted us with Free Will, and He never promised that an Earthly Life would be easy or devoid of sadness. I believe God revels in our joys, and mourns with us in our sorrows. He works His miracles seldomly, and even then through human hands and hearts…what some would call skill, I might call miraculous.

Believe what you will, but don’t let mass suffering shake the foundations of your Faith. Instead, look for the helpers in every bad situation (as Mr. Rogers once said) for they are the evidence of God.

One shooter. One Evil.

Many helpers. Many Angels. There is God.

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