“I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Not to touch a hair on your head
To leave you as you are
And if He felt He had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms”
Where is God in the Terror?
A few weeks ago we witnessed the stark horrors of terrorism hitting the streets of Paris. Gig goers and the normal public were hit by suicide bombers with no warning, and the streets lay with blood once again. Since then there has been an engagement with war again, this time in Syria, and then another shooting incident in America. One big question that comes out time and time again during these events is ‘where was God?’ ‘Why didn’t he intervene?’ I think these are fair questions when we are found to be boldly proclaiming a loving God to a humankind that witnesses such atrocities. Where is God when we hurt? Why doesn’t he stop these incidents? Some people give thanks to God for having just passed these places or even cancelling events the day before, calling it God’s protection or covering, but what does this say to the partner who has lost a lover, a mother who has lost a son? Why did God help you and not them? What makes you so special? This leads to the question, does God intervene in the unfolding of life on earth at all, or is he so interwoven in the fabric that we miss what he is doing? Does everything have a purpose, even an event of terrorism? Do all things work together for good when my son’s life has been blown apart? Where is God in the terror?
Our Lives as Intervention.
The only way I can personally try to tie up these loose ends is to understand how God dwells on earth today. He does not reside in buildings and He is not the pied piper or magician of the sky that we call upon. He dwells within us as His people. He is part of our DNA. Our body as Temple is His Body. That releases responsibility away from an external force trying to stop what is taking place and brings back the destiny of our lives. God intervenes through people. Through acts of kindness, braveness, love, sacrifice, self-giving. A boyfriend who lays over his girlfriend so he takes the full force of the blast. A stranger who pulls wounded from a crowd. A world that stands with the city and blesses and loves those within with kind words and prayers. God intervenes through the hatred and destruction to release an opposite spirit, but through people,normal people. Good and bad get caught up the events of the world, they are seemingly random happenings, but there is choice to release goodness, mercy, grace, hope, peace. All of these things have intervened into the world in the aftermath. From protecting Muslims caught up in the blame and hatred, to holding concerts in Paris once again. Our lives become the intervention.
Divinity Always Dwells but must Manifest.
The Divine always dwells within mankind, but what we must see is a manifestation of the fruit of the dwelling. Our lives as manifest. Becoming the intervention. Becoming the prayer for the city, our community, our workplace. What Divine character can I manifest to intervene in a world of hurt and tragedy? We pray for God to move, break out, come, but He already made his move. Jesus life proclaims this, the Holy Spirit coming fulfils this. God is with us, within us. We pray for peace, be peace. We pray for hope, be hope. We pray for change, be change. But that is not so easy as looking to an outward force to rescue us. Looking for a God of the sky to bend down and alter things. But that is the challenge for us all, to be the intervention that we are longing for or wanting. There is then no scape-goating of a non intervening interventionist God.