Seems like barely a week goes by that we do not hear of another tragic event of lives lost or decimated by Evil. And if I am not careful, I find myself sliding into a fog of despair and hopeless helplessness that sucks the life right out of me. But today I thought to ask the question. Because what I see in these events is a commitment toward evil and a total lack of care for the pain and devastation that leaves a wake behind the violence. And because I am triggered by memories of being nine years old and captive to a family system that persisted in its toxicity without remorse and without any seeming awareness that there might be another way to treat people.
Now most times when people ask "Why?" they mean to address God and ask why He did not stop something from happening. But my question is addressed to those who insist on evil: "Why won't you stop? Why can't you see this is awful? Why won't you change?" It was a question I asked my family. But only once. So today I still grieve what was never allowed and never considered — an alternative to the on-going pain we all felt.
What I discovered as I asked this question was that I was stuck because I want it to make some kind of sense. I want evil to respond to my insistence on being reasonable and just. But evil has no sense of justice or reason. It is in fact an assault on whatever is good and right and sensible. Trying to make sense of evil is like trying to measure the temperature after the fire has melted the thermometer. It's not going to happen.
So I need to re-orient my whole mind toward another way of viewing these things. What it means most of all is that my own feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are nothing compared to how utterly lost they are who perpetuate evil. They are without understanding. They are the most hopeless and powerless of all, no matter how much power they may seem to have. We who know the Author of Life and Restoration — at least we have the means to recover and be restored from the wake they leave behind. But they are without anything at all. They are truly lost — without God or hope, in a terrible darkness.
I guess more than anything else, the presence of evil and the persistence of evil tells us how much we need you, God — to rescue us from the consequences and even the causes of evil. Help me to find my help in You.