The God Who Sees, Hears, and Acts

Suffering.

It’s part of the world we live in. Lately, it seems a large part of it.

“Why?”, the question of the ages, has been playing on repeat in my heart ever since news from Aurora, CO first hit my ears.

For those sitting in that fatal movie theatre the reality that The Batman was nothing more than a fictitious hero with no knowledge of their danger or power to save them became painfully evident.

My heart hurts just thinking about it. And I’m tempted to stop, to stop thinking. That’s been my default to suffering.

block. it. out. 
I don’t want to deal with the fear I might experience as a result of dwelling on such things. 
But their story deserves some unpacking. Their pain deserves some listening. Their questions deserve some wrestling with.  

No, the Dark Knight is nothing more than a mere, inadequate shadow of the true Hero, the Prince of light. Yet, how has this Prince proven to be any more a hero than the Knight? Where was He when the innocent were being mercilessly gunned down in Aurora that night? Did he too have no knowledge of their suffering or power to rescue them from evil? Where was the Sovereign, all-powerful, good Savior or the world?

{Speaking of the question of the ages!}

Even tragedy as heinous as this escapes my thoughts in time, as contemplations often do when far removed by distance and relation. Not for long though.

Last week the suffering of those victimized in the shooting were brought poignantly back to my attention when I woke up to find a malicious voicemail on my phone from a blocked number, left in effort to terrorize it’s recipient with a death threat.

“I will KILL you!”, erupted the voice.

A prank, one that I wasn’t concerned would be followed through on. But it brought the threat of evil close to home. No longer a distant abstraction, affecting those I don’t know, in a city I haven’t visited. I could hear the voice in my living room, the voice of violence and hatred.

“Why don’t you make it stop, Jesus?!”, my heart cries. “Why does evil continue to inflict injury on the innocent?”

I’ve been reading a book, Redemption, that deals with these very questions. So grateful for this study. In it, the author  is wisely and skillfully reshaping my messed up perspective on evil, suffering, and justice.

You see, the Israelites, they were asking the same questions. Doesn’t God know our suffering? Has he just been ignoring our cries for help? If He is powerful enough to save us and stop this evil, why doesn’t He? All these are questions I imagine were on their hearts, daily.

Take it back, all the way to Genesis 1:1. God creates a perfect world, with people in perfect fellowship with him. Enter – sin. Fellowship is broken and evil is introduced, by us.

WE, I, am the evil.

{pause: this is in no way suggesting that the tragedy in Aurora or any other for that matter is a consequence dealt out to those victims because of their sin. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am merely bringing our attention back to the fact that we all have contributed to the brokenness of the world we live in.}

I appreciate what Lecrae has to say on the subject:

You look man, “Some people say that God ain’t real ’cause they don’t see how a good God can exist with all this evil in the world. If God is real then He should stop all this evil, ’cause He’s all-powerful right? What is evil though man? It’s anything that’s against God. It’s anything morally bad or wrong. It’s murder, rape, stealing, lying, cheating. But if we want God to stop evil, do we want Him to stop it all or just a little bit of it? If He stops us from doing evil things, what about lying, or what about our evil thoughts? I mean, where do you stop, the murder level, the lying level, or the thinking level? If we want Him to stop evil, we gotta be consistent, we can’t just pick and choose. That means you and I would be eliminated right? Because we think evil stuff. If that’s true, we should be eliminated! But thanks be to God that Jesus stepped in to save us from our sin! Christ died for all evilness! Repent, turn to Jesus man! {Truth}

The truth is that the Prince of light, Jesus, does see and hear and know. It is his mercy that keeps him from fully removing evil so that more may enter into His good salvation. He has made a way for our redemption from the very suffering we face and the evil we perpetuate.

But I don’t want to “mask [the suffering of those in Aurora] with a platitude about God’s sovereignty, either” {Redemption, 49}. I want to hear and comfort them in their suffering and point them to the One they can run to with their pain, the One who sees, hears, and acts, their Redeemer.

How do you think we can reach out to them? 


{I haven’t mentioned this before, but if you are interested in subscribing to this blog, there is a feature to the top right of the screen that rolls out when you’re on the home page if you scroll over it with your cursor. Confusing I know. Working on making it less so.}

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2 comments

  1. Beautifully written, Susanna! I've been asking the question "why" a lot lately too….

  2. Yes friend! I read it, and it's what prompted me to repost this. Thank you for sharing your heart in that way. It's a vulnerable thing to expose, but so very worth it. Your words were comforting. Well written yourself!

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