Several nights ago a couple hundred people showed up at the Oxford High School to pray. They prayed for healing, courage, and peace.

As I walked around the school, I had one question, “Why?”

I ran through all the answers I’ve given in the past and all the answers people have given me. I thought about the books I’ve read about God and suffering.

I came to a conclusion as I walked: There is no one answer.

I know God was there. God’s protective power was evident as my friend cleared the building to ensure no one else could do any harm. God’s healing power was evident as another friend treated two of the victims, one who lived and one who died. I know God’s heart was broken because I saw God’s tears run down their cheeks.

My question persists. “Why?”
Don’t tell me God has a plan. That is a stupid plan!

Don’t tell me God only gives us what we can handle. Don’t tell me it happened to teach us/me a lesson or to grow my faith. Don’t try giving me an answer.

Then I saw a young woman I’ve known for years. She stood looking through the window at the exact place her daughter rendered help to a fellow student who was shot. Her daughter was God’s loving, friecely protective, and hopeful presence in the midst of terror and confusion.

That mother and her daughter’s faith mattered. It didn’t answer my question, but it sure helped.

We all struggle to make sense out of the senseless. Eventually, each of us will find a satisfying answer. I found a part of my answer on a frigid Michigan evening, at the scene of a school shooting, surrounded by people who are hoping for better in the future.

Thank you for your faith. It matters more than you may know.