On Friday, December 14, 2012, a troubled young man killed a classroom full of Kindergarten children. It seems incomprehensible that anyone could kill small children- kindergarteners capable of little more than sweetness. As our country sorts through the facts of the Connecticut slaughter, looking for some meaning, don’t you find yourself asking, “How could God let this happen?”
I suppose the answer is that God did not let this happen; a person made this happen. God could no more prevent the young man in Connecticut from shooting than he could force another person to be good against their will. Man’s free will necessitates that God does not prevent man from acting badly. If God forced people to be only good, we couldn’t choose to be good. We could be no more than mindless robots, capable of doing no more than what we were programmed to do.
The same God, that would not stop someone from shooting a parent’s child, lost his own child to the evil actions of a crowd. As God looked down upon his son being nailed to a cross, he could not make the Romans stop. He loved man too much to make us his slaves. God does not prevent tragedies. God is there afterward to help us rise above the evil.
Robert Kennedy quoted the Roman poet Aeschylus after the tragic death of his brother, John F. Kennedy.
“Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
After John F. Kennedy was taken by a man who chose to take his life, our country pulled together. As a country, we fulfilled Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon. As a country, we followed our better spirits and passed the Civil Rights Act. As a country, we pulled together and put our differences aside for that moment. For every misdeed, for every crime, for every lie that man commits or makes, God is there afterwards to turn evil, wrong and injustice into good, right and justice.
What can God help us to realize? Maybe the death of the children in Connecticut can cause us to make sure that we appreciate every day with those we love. Maybe the fact that life is so unfairly short sometimes can inspire us to live life with gusto. Maybe the fact that a young man could do this may cause us to try and help someone who might be mentally unbalanced and in need of help. Maybe it might cause someone to be polite instead of rude, knowing that our choices can matter for good or for bad.
May we as a country take this horror in Connecticut and use this horrendous tragedy to become better, love more, hate less, and use the freedom that God gave us to do good.