Where?


They asked me where God was
when the flood washed out their house
when his brother took one hit too many
when her baby wasn’t born.

They asked me where God was
when the shots rang out
in the schoolhouse
while screaming children
ran for doors
and slipped and fell
in pools of blood.

They asked me where God was
when the bombs fell from the sky
when the gates were locked behind them
when her rapist got off scott-free.

And I said I don’t know.
I don’t know where God was
when those horrible things were happening.
I don’t know why God didn’t intervene
to stem the flood
to stop the dealer
to make the gun misfire
to change the judge’s mind.

I don’t know where God is
when the church says you can’t love
who you love.

I don’t know where God is
when words meant for healing
get turned into weapons.

And the only reason I can figure out
that I can know God is there
even when I don’t know where God is
to stop the harm
to stop the hurt
to stop the storm
is that somehow God
must be in the suffering.

And if that’s true,
if God is there at all the times
when it looks like God is not there
then that’s a different kind of God
than the God I was expecting.

I was expecting the God
that solves the problems
that stops the bullets
that stills the winds.

I was expecting the God
of glorious sunsets
and majestic mountains.

I was expecting the God
that everyone talks about
when they feel light and breezy
and beautiful. The God
that gets the credit
for the doctor’s work
or the effect of pollution
reflecting and refracting
the evening’s last light.

I was expecting the God
that fixes everything for everybody
all the time.

But then I thought,
what kind of God is that?
What kind of God can
cure your cancer
or fix your car
but won’t lift a finger
to stop a madman
from caging children?

They asked me where God was
when they lowered the box
that held their baby girl
into the ground
and covered it with dirt.

And I said, there.
God is there.
In the box
in the ground
in the dirt
in your heart.

Because if God is not there
God is not anywhere.

But if we can find God there
in the midst of pain
in the heart of heartache
maybe, just maybe
we can find God.

Everywhere.

One thought on “Where?

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