Is There Hope Amidst Tragedy?

Evan Forester —  December 17, 2012 — 2 Comments

This past week our nation endured another horrific tragedy. I wish I was a better writer. I wish I was capable of writing something that could do justice to the situation. But as many have said, sometimes words just cannot get the job done.


Like many others, this event has shaken me considerably. The fact that this happened to children is unspeakable. I am not a father yet and cannot even begin to imagine losing a child. I do, however, have a wife that I adore. She happens to teach 6 and 7 year olds and loves them incredibly well. If this had this been her school…

Well, we’ve all had the same nightmarish thoughts this weekend.

Although these events always raise far more questions than answers, there is still hope. I’ve been reading The Reason for God by Tim Keller. It is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I’ve actually wanted to share this quote with you for a few weeks now, and it seems this is the proper time:

“Jesus insisted that his return will be with such power that the very material world and universe will be purged of all decay and brokenness. All will be healed and all might-have-beens will be.

Just after the climax of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee discovers that his friend Gandalf was not dead (as he thought) but alive. He cries, “I thought you were dead! But then, I thought I was dead myself! Is everything sad going to come untrue?” The answer of Christianity to that question is – yes. Everything sad is going to come untrue and it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost.”

There are some who will question God’s existence in these moments. For me, however, I can only cling to my faith all the more. I have to believe that He will return and make all things new. I have to believe that he will wipe every tear from our eyes. I have to believe that He will make the sad things untrue.

Without that belief, I’m just not sure how you move on from this sort of thing. Without that belief, I’m not even sure how you can give this sort of thing meaning.

But these things do have meaning. Tremendous meaning. The children and teachers of that school were far more than a convenient collection of atoms and molecules. They are sons and daughters of the most high, and they were made in God’s image. I believe our hearts break beyond comprehension at their loss because their lives mean more than we can imagine.

The families of the victims, and the rest of the world, will certainly be in our prayers for many days and years to come. Over the next couple of weeks we celebrate the first coming of Jesus. His return, however, we’ll be a far greater celebration.

I, for one, look forward to that day. Until then, let us work with every effort to share the love of Christ and prevent these kind of events from happening again.


Evan Forester

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This post was by Evan, an adventure enthusiast learning to #LiveFully in New Zealand. He now writes for Embracing Exile.