I’ve seen your comments. They’re hard to miss. Since the tragic events in Sutherland Springs, Texas your snark and condescension are more than conspicuous. Now if you are a brand of atheist who wants to weep and mourn with us, then thank you, this letter is not meant for you. But for the “hard-core” guys; the ones who look to condemn genuine belief at every opportunity, I’ve seen you in the comment threads of articles and newsfeeds.
“Where’s your God? He can’t even save his own people?”
“See! Tragedies like this only prove that there is no God, or if there is one, he doesn’t care.”
“Stop with the ‘thoughts and prayers’ already! It’s not going to do any good!”
Throw in a few derogatory “sky-daddy” remarks and “imaginary friend” references, and your comments are sure to garner a few “likes” and even snare some unsuspecting Christ-follower into a circular internet debate that ends up doing nothing.
Here’s the thing, I understand. You question God’s ability to save because your view of salvation is limited only to the physical world in which you believe. Your vision limits you to only the material. Since there is no spiritual realm in your worldview, it is totally understandable to see how you can come to the conclusion that God is incapable to save.
But what I want to share with you is this: the people who died in that small rural church were saved already. You mistook souls for the bodies they occupied. A mere bullet could not destroy them; it only took them from this world and delivered them to Paradise. I know that may seem like fairy tale magic to you, but I assure you, it is the truth.
What if I told you that a day filled with loss and mourning was the greatest day in the lives of 26 souls? What if the pains of this world are washed away by tears of joy in the next? Our groans are muted with rejoicing; our sorrow with celebration. Yes, we are heartbroken. But only partially. Our hearts are elsewhere. Events like Sunday’s only increase our longing for Heaven. Instead of diminishing our hope in Jesus, tragedy solidifies it. What is intangible to you is all too real for us.
Now, what if I told you, this same hope could be yours? Sure, as a keyboard warrior, you are confident, but what about on your side of the screen? Where will you turn when and if tragedy finds you? When this world robs you of family, even your children, how will you grieve? How will you cope? Is this world the only thing you trust? If anything, Sunday’s shooting should demonstrate just how fragile this world is.
But my Jesus is anything but fragile. The cross could not break him, and the grave could not keep him. He survived death and hell to deliver hope… to you. The hope we Christians cling to can be yours as well, if you are willing to embrace it.
In conclusion, as we traverse this world full of pain together, I promise you, I will always be willing to extend to you the same grace that God gave to me. When tragedy befalls you, I promise not to mock your pain or say, “I told you so.” I will weep with you. I will mourn with you. And if you ever need me to point to hope, don’t be surprised when I point to Jesus. After all, He is so much more than this mere world could contain.