Where Was God In The Shooting?

El Paso, Dayton, ________. . .

“Well where was your God during this?”
“Why did He let this happen?” 

Don’t be surprised if you hear these questions,
Ask these questions.
I find myself at times doing the same. 

To question is human.
To rest in the tension of the question requires bigger hands.  

How do I answer this?
How can I find a path?
How should I respond? 

Great questions

Maybe even better than the “where was God” question

Before you dive in…

1. There will be people that may have different perspectives on this issue.  Relax. 

I personally don’t want to be “right” or “left” in my perspective,
I want to be the way of the Christ, have THAT perspective. 

So I have to start and end there.  You?

2. Questions like this deal with a variety of perspectives within the events that we have been asking for a long time. 

It’s not new.  

Questions like:
The control or sovereignty of God and to what extent, the problem of evil, what about our free will?

Even into the weeds of open theism and so many other perspectives, most are compelling to some degree…

However, all these queries inside the questions will that make your head spin and the more you are on social media where the voices are plenty, the clarity you seek is found at great costs. 

Filter them through, LOVE, if it stands after LOVE has put its weight into it, continue down that path,
Love makes a way. 

Yes, Eric, thanks for all the flip flops but what about the question, Where Was God?

1. God was being God in this, and durning this. 

2. God didn’t do this. Evil did.  

God is good all the time.

People recite it like a “saying” but I think don’t always believe that it is all the time.
I do.

3.  There is Evil.

God created the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil.

To have love fully, you must have a choice.
Simply, to have the sun you must have the shadow.
We are watching people choose the shadows in moments like this. 

This wasn’t God’s plan for us to know of evil, just know of Life. 

4.  We have a choice in how we respond. 

God is sovereign and part of that sovereignty includes honoring us, giving us the authority to choose which tree.

When we make the choice we are executing God’s sovereignty even if it is not the choice He would have us make. 

We have to be free, not programmed to Love and choose life, less love and life be nothing at all. 

But let’s zero into the questions even closer…

Why would God allow this to happen?

He allows us to choose and in that choice executes His sovereignty. 

What would we have Him do?
Kill the shooter before he shoots?
Come down with lighting and murder one of his own beloved creations?

I think people maybe don’t say this, but maybe think this.

God did ALLOW this but God did not CAUSE this.

God allows evil things to happen, but God never causes them to happenClick To TweetThe revelation we have in Jesus is that God is good, life and love. 

Remember, Jesus himself allowed himself to be killed. Carried the cross not hung himself on it. 

2. If God is good why does God allow things to happen? 

(there is much debate on this but here is my answer…) 

For your friends,
For El Paso
For Dayton
For _________.

For those who’s theology goes out the window in times like this. 

My answer is always this…

We allowed it. 

“Why does God allow people to starve?”
We allow it with by feeding ourselves first

“Why does God allow people to get sexually harmed?”
We allow it with our twisted view of sex and objectification of a person. ”

We allow it. 

Every damned time.

We allowed it to happen when we made a mess of this world that God created for life.
We allow it when we choose war over peace,

hate over love,
bullets over beauty,
race over unity. 

Let’s get real….

When we don’t care for the mentally-ill like brothers or sisters,
when we self-medicate with poison,
when we make war,
when we don’t,
as entire world,
disarm our nukes,
And pound our swords, our AKs, into rakes to farm with…. 

We all allow it. 

God has shown us a better way in Christ, to live in Kingdom far greater.

If God is Good why did He allow this?  

We did, we do. The God I serve allowed us us to have a choice to be in the shadow or choice to be the sun, this allows us to be FREE.  

You’re looking straight into that cost to allow or disallow, to bind or to loose, to create a free people.

My opinion… free people need a King, less they become a ruler until themselves. 

3. Where was God?

In all of it.
Durning the whole thing.
Then and now.
Before and After.  

He was and is over it, (transcendence) and He is in it. (immanence.)

Watch God show up in people, in moments that follow this.
It’s absolutely beautifully displayed.
We won’t hear those stories as often or as jarring but it’s the better story. 

The bigger story. 

So, where was God?

God was inside those hero’s that moved them with so much compassion and protection that
they laid down their life for another, as a human shield. 

Humans taking bullets for humans.
Lead into flesh for another.

Sounds like nails.
Sounds familiar. 

Yeah but, where was God?

Valuing every human life.
And at the same time,
Loving all the birds that flew away from the gun fire. Take Jesus’s revelation about the value of human life when compared to sparrows?

Read it for yourself…

God is with the birds, how much more is God with you? Then? Now? Before? After? 

God is with us.

The final revelation of Christ for all TIME.  The storms “arrive” for the disciples and Jesus, God, is in the boat speaking peace not wrath.

Or simply said, 

Jesus is the anchor in storms, In the shootings, not the sender of them. 

4.  What is the reason this happened? 

Not all things happen for a reason, this and many things like it are a damned tragedy. 

It breaks God’s heart,
mine to.
And if you’re human, yours too. 

Remember this,

Not everything happens for a reason but God can make reasons for anything.  

To say the prior is unhelpful. 

Don’t try and wrestle with the answer.  Just let Jesus carry the question. 

5. What should happen to the shooter(s)?

Jesus loves that shooter just as much as He loves you and me. 

Our laws govern this type of behavior and offer consequences when broke. 

A. That should happen. 

What should also happen is our law of love should also choose life, redemption and restoration. 

There is tension here. 

B.  That should also happen. 

You feel that tension when you read it. 

If I was a parent or loved one of one lost it would be hard for me not to want the shooter dead.
I would want to shoot him back.
You?

The way of the Christ reminds me, and let me remind you….

Jesus died for the shooters.
Of guns
Of heroin
Of dreams
Of hope
Of live
Of equality
Of peace
Of women
And everyone in between. 

This, as person following Jesus, is a challenge to see people as Jesus does.
See all people as Jesus does while loving the ones wounded.  

This is the call and the mystery of the Christ. 

In closing….

People have questions but do this one thing:

“Love them through their shadows.”

Faith takes root when the soil is tilled with tragedy.

The next tragedy, I pray, that the ones with questions would become oaks, firmly planted. 

The dream was shook so be a tree of LIFE.

Eric Samuel Timm