I’m a sports enthusiast. In my youth, a player of many. In my older age, an avid spectator.
Today, I watched the ESPN network’s flagship program, SportsCenter. This, my morning custom with coffee, allowed me to catch up on all the happenings in the athletic world following my previous evening’s relatively early retirement.
As the broadcast, hour after hour, repeats, twice through, I, either impatient or bored, began to channel surf. Nothing satisfied.
Finally, I turned to what I had sought to avoid. A news network channel. And there, with bold headlines, grim commentary, and graphic, gruesome video, I witnessed the report that a Russian missile had struck a train station in eastern Ukraine, killing a number of passengers seeking to evacuate the now war-torn land.
I’m a theist who believes that all humankind is created in God’s image. I’m an empath; acutely attuned to the situations and emotions of those…of all around me. Therefore, this horrific happening quickly spun my soul into a downward spiral of sadness. And, as immediately, sparked my mind to ask what I always ask amid the terrors of this life: Where is God?
My next thought: An account in Night, Elie Wiesel’s historical memoir of the Holocaust.
Gallows were raised in a Nazi concentration camp. Three were to be put to death. Two men and a young boy. In the onlooking crowd, a prisoner cried out, “Where is God?” The trapdoors were sprung. Quickly, the men succumbed. The boy, light in weight, for a time, struggled against the noose before he died. Again, someone asked, “Where is God now?” Wiesel writes: “A voice within me answered: ‘Here is God…hanging on the gallows.’”
I believe that suffering is the common denominator of earthly experience. All suffer. Nevertheless, there is much, so much I do not understand. Chiefly, the evil, especially when incarnate in human intention and action, that destroys life.
Oft I pray that God, omnipotently and benevolently, would intervene in the course of human events to right all wrong. Nevertheless, I, as a Christian, believe that God has come in the life and ministry, the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Thus, God, to paraphrase the spiritual, knows the troubles we’ve seen. Moreover, God is come whenever we humans intend and act with benevolence toward others, all others.
© 2022 PRA
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 Night (1960) by Eliezer Wiesel (1928-2016)
 Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, a Negro spiritual originating in the period of American institutional slavery; later, published in 1867.