From the Huffington Post:
"Not all people of faith believe these things," an excerpt from the letter:
"In the coming days and weeks, you will probably encounter well-meaning people who will say to you, it is all part of God's plan, even if we don't understand it now. Everything happens for a reason. If these words are helpful for you to hear, I'm glad. But if these words tear at already-raw places in you and fill you with anger or despair, please know this: not all people of faith believe these things. I do not believe them.
The God I know in Jesus Christ does not use natural disasters or human-caused massacres to reward some and punish others. I believe God is able to reach into sin and death and pull out healing and life; this is a different thing from engineering tragedy for a so-called greater purpose. The God I serve and proclaim to others does not cause or desire human suffering.
This next excerpt is from my dear friend Mary, who really understands love:
I don't know. I don't have any need to believe that there is somewhere better than here. I guess I just frankly don't. Here is sometimes paradise. Not always by any means but sometimes it truly is. Loving and nursing our newborns- paradise. Falling in love- paradise. Watching the ocean, slipping into its coolness into the depths below it- that other world- paradise. Watching the sky above it change and form into storms and then clearing, watching the sun set, setting the water on fire and then into darkest blue and purple- paradise. Holding my grandchildren, watching them learn and grow and seeing the way Gibson looks at his mother- my own daughter- paradise. Watching Glen play with Owen- again. Paradise. Slipping into sleep. Slipping seeds into the ground, patting the dirt firmly over. Waiting for the miracle and every-day fact of growth. My heart reaching out to a friend's heart and being touched back. All of these things are paradise to me.
They are present always, even in the midst of horror and death and suffering. They are, Terry. We just have to be open and still enough to notice. I think all humans have the capacity for holiness. I do. Capacity. Not certainty. I think the work you do is holy. As holy as it gets.
I think that love may be the entire engine of it. The juice, the blood, the heart. I don't think that humans really know what love is. I think we get glimpses of it, especially in our children. I think that's as pure as it gets for us. But like particles in physics that ARE there but which we don't have the ability to see (yet) it doesn't mean it's not real. Love and light. Man, I think those are the real deals.
I am spending a lot of time in my head thinking about this gunman and how in the world this could have happened. I guess it's easy to see but for my brain and how I think, I cannot see any reason to cause that much pain and suffering in this world to anyone, let alone innocent folks at a movie.
As I read and re-read my Mary's email to me, I know she is right. Here, right now, this morning is holiness and paradise. To look out over Pike's Peak and see the sky, to see the little birds who built a nest over our porch lite, that hot cup of coffee in the morning, my 15 year old spilling out of his bed, asleep with his eyes half opened, safe and sound and my beautiful daisies on my patio that I planted last year. I just have to take more time to see these things, to spend a few seconds taking in the majesty and sweetness of them. I need to stop taking things for granted. This blog is not to remind you to do these things but to remind me.
Today, I challenge everyone to look around at the holiness...because while there is so much darkness in this world, there is so much holiness in the regular lives we live...may we slow down and see it and push the darkness away.
We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,