Bad things and good people

One of the major struggles that many people have with belief in a good God is...Why do bad things happen to good people? 

It is a natural question.  After all, if we live in a world of cause and effect then it would make sense that good things equal good result and bad things equal bad result. Many of us understand the idea of karma and have quite literally "reaped what we have sown."

But what if we are asking the wrong question? What if the more critical question is...When bad things happen to good people, are they still able to love? 

After all, it is easy to love when circumstances are loving.  But it is really, really, really difficult to love when circumstances are bleak.  And yet...

Some people do.

Much has been written about the outpouring of love after the tragedy of 9-11.  In times of great pain, humans either respond in fear—protecting themselves—or in love—giving to others.

On a personal level, we are faced with this choice daily.  Do we take revenge for an offense against us or do we work to heal it? Do we make the selfish choice or do we choose in a way that benefits the group?

But in the times of great pain—the kind that blindsides us—we are faced with a choice of who we are. Are we loving or are we not? This isn't a "pretend like everything's okay" response. It is a sitting in the realness of it all and still being willing to respond in love—whatever that looks like in the context—even if it costs us.

If you grew up Christian, you may have heard someone quote a verse from the Apostle Paul's book of Romans: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.   There is usually a happy spin on this that things will turn out well. Except sometimes, it takes a really long time before they do.

The verse right after that one reads like this: For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 

Being like Jesus is hanging on a cross and asking God to forgive the people who put you there.  That is a really, really special sort of love.  (One I'm not always capable of.)  

Make no mistake.  The trials and troubles of this world come to us as training in love.  Being able to love when you've been broken is difficult.  It is much easier to wall up, run or anesthetize. 

However the beauty of this is in who you become.  Tangible, see-able resurrection. 

Love is powerful. But the ability to use that power doesn't come without battle scars. 

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall