Evil. The thought makes the average person shudder. In the United States, the past months have been riddled with shape-shifting forms of evil. States tore apart by hurricanes, an island left in utter destruction, and thousands of people glued to their televisions as they watched a man shower hundreds of bullets on thousands of people. In those moments, people tend to go one of two directions. The first being, “If God were real He would not allow these things to happen.” Or the people who come to see God in these moments. We all tend to lean one or the other way. Sometimes people do tend to meet in the middle.
What feels way back in the day I took several philosophy classes focused around the existence of God where we discussed these questions. One of those classes was specifically focused on The Problem of Suffering. It was taught by a man who believed in God. If anyone has the right to question God’s existence and why he allows evil, Dr. Schulz absolutely had the right. This man lost his children. Not in an instance but in slow, excruciating pain. Watching life fade before his eyes. Some days that class was excruciatingly difficult to hear – the pain in his voice was evident but so was his devotion to God.
Through this process, I learned about the love of God. We could spend hours debating whether or not God is evil. As a matter of fact, that’s what we did in philosophy. To sum it up, I would use Dr. Schulz’s example of Job. He suffered debilitating pain and suffering but knew God was greater. The reality is there will be evil and suffering.
God created a perfect world. Mankind was not perfect. They brought sin into the world with the bite of an apple. In that moment, the world was imperfect. The fallen angel came along – one who brought true evil into the world. God wanted to give us free will. We could have no evil but then we would have no free will. God gives us the ability for making our DECISIONS about life. He does not force us to do anything. He never wishes evil upon us.
He sent His Son to earth. Perfection in the form of humanity. With one of the worst forms of evil, nailed to a cross bleeding and breathing His last. Living in literal hell for several days so we would not have to. God does not stop all the evil until the end but He did provide us with humanity’s perfection. An example to follow and to help us make wise. One who reminds us of the goodness in the world.
That is what we need to be reminded of in these moments. It’s the man from Las Vegas who says He found God while in the midst of gunshots. The owners of cruise ships who turned them into disaster relief for an island. Companies sending volunteers, food, and supplies to ravaged states. Kind words, hugs, and giving to fellow humans all around. For every act of evil, you can find an act of good.
When you turn on the television and see all the evil in the world, look for the good. We live in a society focused on everything wrong. Imagine if, for every negative incident in the world, we focused on a good one. Evil exists. It’s horrible, horrifying. Something any one of us could be capable of given the right circumstances. My heart goes out to all the families and friends that lost loved ones, homes, and hope. Hope is in front of us though. It’s the moments of bonding after the evil – the way we reach out to each other. A simple touch. An article of clothing. A piece of food. Clean drinking water. If you can’t find the good, look for it. Still can’t find it? Be it. Don’t let evil win.