This week has been a crazy one – the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday… the poison-laden letters sent to President Obama, a U.S. Senator and others… and last night the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas. The latter does not appear to be anything malicious but a horrible accident but at this point no one is sure what happened or why.
It is hard not to see these events and attempt to link them together. Some conspiracy. Some coordinated effort to terrorize and unsettle. Some thread of connection that we just haven’t seen. But – as far as I know – they are totally unrelated. And that may be the most unsettling, terrifying thing of all.
We humans, made in the image of God, have a God-like desire to see and understand. To peer into the chaos of life and the world and see order. Sometimes this leads to marvelous discoveries. Sometimes – and I suspect now is one of them – it leads us to grasp at an order that isn’t there.
Random things happen. Accidents abound. The wonder and power of faith is to believe when there is no explanation. When the order we hope and want isn’t there. When people act in ways that are inexplicable and unbearable. When circumstances swirl like a spring tornado into the peace of our lives. That’s when faith is hardest, but is also the most needed and the most potent. I need that kinds of faith this week.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6(NRSV)