May 12, 2023 |
Rector's Blog, Where is God| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Rector's Blog, Where is God
Where is God when things are terrible? Where is God when I pray for the healing of a loved one and they get sicker? Where is God when I pray for their healing and they die instead? Where is God when people are being torn apart by AR-15 bullets?
Where is God?
I ask this question a lot, and I get asked it a lot. A friend who is really going through it recently asked me, and followed up by saying they were not asking rhetorically. It’s not a new question. Some biblical scholars believe that the Book of Job is the earliest story in our Scriptures. Which means not only is “Where is God?” not a new question – it might be the oldest question anyone who believed in God ever asked. And it’s important to remember that “Where is God?” is asked most frequently by people who believe in God, because we often think it’s a question rooted either in faithlessness or cynicism. But in my experience it is one of the most faithful questions anyone can ask.
Where is God?
I need to tell you that I will not answer this question in anything like a satisfactory way. So please know that going forward. Just the same, my first answer is that God is with us. This is the stated belief of the Christian – even when we don’t understand, even when we question, even when we doubt, even when we are furious with God. God is with us. When I was growing up, the spectacular Bette Midler sang, “God is watching us from a distance.” It was beautiful and it was believable, but it was also not true – at least not according to the Christian narrative. We say that God is here right now.