I was heading to San Francisco Airport to catch a flight out to Washington D.C., and was glad that I had left early. Traffic down the 580 to the 238 was an absolute disaster. I could feel the tension and frustration in the air as traffic crawled forward. I put out the thought that we should try to give that energy to the emergency crew working to clear the accident. When I finally reached the scene, they were just loading the victim – a motorcyclist who had gone under a car at high speed – into the ambulance. I could feel his spirit swirling in the air, terrified of the prospect of re-entering the broken body. Firmly, I projected, “It’s time to put yourself back together.”
“Why,” we might ask ourselves, “why does God let things like this happen?” All the wasted time, the pain and frustration: can’t he do any better than that?
I can’t give a answer that is going to bring consolation. The only answer I have is of the “that’s just the way that things are” kind. Unconditional Love, which is the foundation of God, does not judge. Why? Because if it judged, it would justify the use of force, which would give authority to destructive spirits.
So what can Unconditional Love do? It can echo the “yes” of things that feel joy. It can enter into productive and healing relationships and support them with its presence. Jesus put it this way [NIV Matt. 18:20]:
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
Not with one alone, but in even the smallest group.
Simply, Unconditional Love supports things that work for us together, but it’s up to us to find those things. It doesn’t prescribe for us – it doesn’t want us to kneel and pray if that doesn’t work for us. It doesn’t want us to bear lashes if that doesn’t satisfy our sense of justice. But neither will it deny the martyr the grace of surrendering life to prove to the tormentors that love is stronger than fear, and thus to infect them with love.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Really, because their light is needed in the darkness. Yes, it’s painful, but if in those moments more of us took the attitude
Dear God, help me to shine brightly so that the captives can see freedom, and those that persecute me can see that their abuse only serves to liberate my spirit into knowledge of you.
Well, things might go a little bit faster. No, we won’t avoid pain, but we will have the security of knowing that our suffering has a purpose, just as did the suffering of Jesus. No, not every tormentor will chose healing, but when the light becomes bright enough, they will be forced to flee.