I am thankful for a worldview that allows for, nay, actively promotes, the idea that evil exists. Having been in the mental health industry as a therapist for nearly two decades, I have a grasp on what mental illness is, as well as what evil is. (I spent a great deal of time working with abuse victims.) And today’s mass murders in the Newtown, CT elementary school is evidence for evil.
I am thankful for a God Who is Good. “But how can a ‘good god’ allow such evil?” Precisely because He is good. Huh? He ‘allows’ evil the same way He ‘allows’ humans to exercise free will. We are given the ability to discern good from evil (conscience–literally ‘with knowledge’). We can choose good (God being the Ultimate Good) or not. The shooter chose not. As have millions of people since the invention of people, whether on the intimate, personal scale of the abusers with whose victims I worked, or on the grand, mindnumbing scale of Hilter, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc.
In a like fashion, millions of people have chosen good, but they don’t tend to make the evening (or all day) news.
Having a worldview that encompasses good and evil makes dealing with such atrocities as today’s massacre the littlest bit easier philosophically and spiritually. Not so much emotionally. I haven’t been watching the “talking heads” in the media very closely, but based on past experience, I’m betting they’re all looking for “evidence of mental instability”–because evil doesn’t exist in their paradigm and they need to make some sense of this event. Could instability be a factor? Absolutely. Could. I don’t know all the facts. Neither do the talking heads. But said heads won’t even consider the possibility of just plain ol’ evil. (Please, if anyone can point me to any of the national media that is open to this, pass it along.) Murdering your own mother is evil, too. Just to be clear. Going that far out of your way to try to murder everyone with whom she had contact (and perhaps cared for?) goes way beyond “that’s just sick”–it takes evil to the next level.
I am also thankful that the Good God I know, I know also to be Just. And I believe that the shooter has been tried in the Highest Court. And I am most decidedly not going to try to guess what He as The Judge decided either. He very explicitly says that’s His job and His job alone. None of the rest of us are qualified to sit in His chair. I get in enough trouble with Him for the times I try to sit in His chair for other reasons. So I am thankful that He is also Merciful. Which means I have to allow for the fact that He know more than I do about this situation and can deal with/has dealt with the shooter with Perfect Justice and Mercy. In Perfect Wisdom and Perfect Love.
None of which I have and none of which I feel for the shooter. And frankly, right now, I don’t much like the idea that He might extend Mercy. And I’m OK with that because I’m not Him.
I am thankful I don’t have His job. And the people said, “Amen!”