Daily Thoughts, July 22, 1999
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“And God? Compassionate! Forgave the sin! Didn’t destroy!” Psalm 78.38

Resting in the Redwoods, miles from Kansas and London, is a peaceful way to begin a reflection. Miles from the nearest store or gas station, away from television sets and man constructed entertainment; one begins to reflect regardless of the situation. Looking around I see death to those far to young, pain where there should be play, and heads buried in pursuit of money. Life is full of agony and turmoil. It is easy to find one’s self consumed by the anger, frustrations, and bad events in life.

Where is God? Why is He, if He exists, sitting there idle? Why do innocent people need to experience the tragedy, violence, and sorrow of everyday living?

A good friend once responded to the same question in the Los Angeles riots. Where was God, came the question. “Crying.”

My first reflection mirrors the Psalmist. In times of tragedy, God is in the same place as we are. Torn, in pain, desperately wanting to do something but unable to act. We cannot act because of our weakness and distance; accusations bind God’s hands.

Searching for reasons highlights the impact of our choices. Human failures of all kinds create and drive our sorrow. Pilot error, choices made in the weakness of the moment and abdication of our responsibilities all contribute. A combination of human decisions creates a major catastrophe!

God’s response is consistent. He knows we will continue to fail. He understands our weaknesses far better than we do. He prepares and implements a rescue plan. He wraps his gift to forgive our failures.

Today the impact of our failures is sickness and often death. People rest in 100 feet of water having ended this life. People lie torn and bleeding in the streets because of another’s choice. Choices reduce life to the bounty of failure.

God response is consistent, compassion, grace, and unconditional acceptance. God spends most of his time trying to wrap his arms of love around us. Today, I am going to stop and rest. Join me?

July 21, 1999
July 23, 1999