Processing Paris: Where is God in an Age of Terror?

A handful of extremists were able to shake the world on November 13th. They attacked without warning and without regard for human life. They turned a peaceful, happy night out on the town into a night of horror for thousands of people.

So much life. So many hopes and dreams. So much vibrance stolen from the world in one night.

So what do we do? We watch the news. We light candles. We reflect on the value of life and how thankful we are to be alive. We worry. We wait for them to catch the bad guys. We get angry. We wonder how this could have happened. And, eventually, we get numb.

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Peace for Paris | artwork by Jean Jullien

Some of us immediately point the finger of blame at God. How could God have let this happen? What kind of god would allow this? If this is your God, I want nothing to do with him. So many people, even Christians, find themselves asking these sort of questions. Why, God?

Now, I’m not a theologian, I’m just a young adult trying to make sense of the chaos. But here is what I know:

God is good. God is always good.

Goodness is the very essence of God; nothing bad can possibly come from him. It is impossible. Terrible things happen because we live in a fallen world where evil exists. This evil is at war with the goodness of God.

God is a God of justice. He will make all things right. Vengeance is the Lord’s; it’s in his hands and not ours.

Peace will be restored.

Hope is never lost.

Love always wins.

 

So where is God in an age of terrorism?

God is with the dying, giving them comfort, peace, and love.

God is with the families and loved ones of the victims, covering them with love and reminding them to always see the good in the world.

God is with the first responders, guiding them and emboldening them.

God with with the survivors, reminding them that it is okay to be alive, that life is still good.

God is in the sunrise, reminding us all to always have hope.

God is with his sons and daughters around the world, reminding us of the beauty of life. Reminding us that there is still goodness in this world. Reminding us that we are never alone. Charging us to carry his light wherever we go.

God is on his throne. God reigns.

God is still making all things beautiful.

 

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