rain5Hebrews 2:5-12 was part of our passage from this past Sunday, and like many other places in the New Testament, it refers back to the Psalms. Psalm 8 to be exact. It starts with “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” This is a praise hymn, a song lifted to the heights of worship of our God. The part that is quoted by our scripture lesson was this; “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him.”

Now don’t be mistaken with the words “man” or “son of man,” as these both are speaking of humankind, all of us. And most days, I would look at this passage and rejoice that God is mindful of us, that God cares for us, but then we have weeks like last week where there is yet another mass shooting at a school, this time in Oregon.

I don’t know about you, but hearing about this breaks my heart, and I find places in my heart where I read this section of the Psalm as a question, almost as if to question that God is mindful of us, that He does care for us. Now I know deep in my heart that he does, but I have those days when the brokenness of this world overcomes me and I cry out to God, why? Don’t you care for us? Why couldn’t you have stopped this? Why did you let this happen?

There have been times, especially during my chaplaincy at Rockford Memorial Hospital, when I was asked by patients this very question. Cancer diagnosis, accidents, premature births, even parents who lost their newborn, only a few hours old. Why? They felt like they didn’t want to talk to God, that they should just walk away because they didn’t know what to say or whether they could even question God.

There was something I told them and I would like to tell you now. It’s ok to get angry with God. Trust me, he can take it. God would much rather have you yell at him, question why things happen, than to turn around and walk away, never talking to him again. So when we witness tragedies like this, it’s ok to ask, to yell, to cry out to God, the Psalms are filled with this type of language.

Now, we don’t know all of the details and probably never will about this incident, but if some of them are true, those 9 victims died because they proclaimed their allegiance to Jesus Christ. They claimed that they had a relationship with our Lord and Savior.

So I begin to ask myself these questions; would I be willing to lay down my life for Jesus Christ? If I was put in that situation, would I be able to pledge allegiance in the face of death? I would like to think so, but it gives me a renewed hope in the sense that there are those who will not deny their relationship with Christ.

I would like to invite you to pray for all of those affected by this senseless tragedy, and so many others like it, to receive hope and peace in the arms of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ.