The recent bombings at the Boston Marathon have many of us searching to make sense of suffering. Times such as these betray many questions about God and faith, and as I watched CNN the other day my thoughts went orbital to places like… “Why would someone take out their anger on innocent lives?” Or, “How will people deal with such loss?” and even, “How do I even begin to pray?”
Not to mention events like the sudden loss of a loved one. The Loss of limbs. Even the loss of safety, which, for now, affects the thousands (maybe millions) who experienced this event. Many will never look at a stray backpack the same way again. It’s kind of like that feeling many New Yorkers get when they peep low flying planes over Manhattan. And it’s also the all too familiar experience of many of our fellow human citizens around the world, in many other countries.
The rules of engagement have changed and war has grown complex. War is increasingly like a computer game and more intel means we stay “ahead”, somehow. But for all of one’s ability to anticipate terror that nagging feeling of uncertainty can still remain. Many of us know the feeling well. It’s the “you never know” feeling the one that that reminds us of how uncertainty just simply sucks.
But what if faith and uncertainty were actually compatible? What if uncertainty was an ingredient of faith? What if the heavier the dose of uncertainty, the more faith and trust we would need? If so, then faith would once again be faith. Faith would once again become a leap that says,
I will not live paralyzed by fear.
Life is still beautiful when you look at the details of the fabric.
Suffering does not get to have the last word.
Christ’s love is still present in this world.
There are people who still run toward explosions to save others.
There are people who have lost limbs who attest to the beauty of being alive…
Creation is waiting and groaning for heaven and earth to fully merge.
Faith, hope and love still trump uncertainty, and provide fear with much less fodder to control our lives.
Real faith has the courage to face the crappinness that life throws its way – to preserve our stubborn eyes that desperately search for God’s activity in the world today.
Faith is about our trust in God not our ability to control life’s events.
So we continue to pray as an act of defiance knowing that things are not as they should be but they can change.