What is important is the senseless loss of life that is getting to be a commonplace occurrence these days, the fact that we are helpless to anticipate it or prevent it, and the painful fact that there is nothing any of us can do to help the victims, their families and friends. I'm referring, of course, to the tragedy that took down Malasia Airlines Flight #17.
I didn't know anyone who was on that flight but I do know people just like them. We all do. They're people who have to fly in order to do their jobs, people who need to get away for a little vacation, or who just want to get home. They may be traveling with their children. They put aside their nagging doubts, yield to the annoying discomforts and inconveniences that plague even the easiest flights, and dismiss the unspoken fear that their flight could be the one that goes down. They climb on board, settle into their seats, and relax.
We all do. Which is why I feel connected to the victims of this disaster. I know that, but for the grace if God, I could have been on that plane, or one just like it--a flight that disappears off the radar.
Whether it is the sheer magnitude, the stark horror, or the near proximity of a tragedy like this that gets our attention, the questions we ask are universal. We want to know why God allows this kind of thing to happen. Why the innocent have to suffer. Where God goes when we need Him the most. After all, we've been taught to believe in a merciful and all-powerful deity. It makes you wonder. Where is God when we need Him? How do broken hearts keep beating? How are we to make sense of suffering?
My WIP, Beyond Belief, explores these issues on a personal level. In it you'll meet people who have endured some of life's darkest moments and emerged with an even stronger faith in God. None of them abandoned their faith because of it. None of them succumbed to bitterness or anger or paralyzing grief. They didn't blame God for what had happened. Instead, they went on to forge an unshakable bond of faith in His grace, the one thing that they agree got them through.
What can the rest of us learn from them at times like this?