Among the inquiries and appropriate soundings for prayer that lit up my Facebook page yesterday in the wake of the bombings in Boston, a recurring post featuring the great theologian and teacher Mister Rogers appeared. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."
Two passages of scripture along these same lines came to my heart this morning – the first from Genesis which I will always hear in the voice of a beloved church member whose son was diagnosed with MS when he was 17. She would quote Joseph saying to his brothers who had sold him into slavery, “even though you intended to do harm to me, God turned it into good.” And then from Romans 8: 28, “God makes all things work together for good…”
The word good is an elongation of the word God. This is elementary faith but in such circumstances it does not hurt to have clarity on the basics. Mystery abounds in how turning evil to good can be true, but I believe that is the faith we profess especially in the face of such terrible and unadulterated evil.
What is our work now? Our work is to bring as much good to this tragedy and thereby as much evidence of God in the midst of suffering, violence and pain as possible.
There are many ways the people, chaplains, pastors and leaders in and through our churches can make God’s love and justice real in these days. May it be so and all to the good.