“Where was God?” A friend shuddered after I shared a few specifics of the story I’m currently writing. As we prepared for a picnic, I spread mayonnaise on two slices of bread then blurted a glib answer.
“God can bring good out of evil and He has a purpose for everything.” I added a slice of cheese and began to cut a tomato.
“I don’t buy that.” I immediately agreed with her vehement tone. “That sounds like an idea from my religious abuse.” She shook her head with a finality that spoke of a hard-fought battle to break free from guilt-producing platitudes and inept interpretations.
She was right. Who could believe in a God who pre-planned a child suffer abuse at the hands of a monster? Had He arranged it with an ulterior motive to bring about some bit of good for His glory? What kind of a human, much less a god would do that?
“Why do you think bad things happen?” I asked, as I rinsed a handful of lettuce.
“There’s choice.” Her answer—the only palatable one—hit my brain the same instant she spoke. She finished her own lunch creation while I added apples and chips to the picnic basket.
“Right and what’s God’s response to a bad choice?” My question settled between us. I mulled it over well past our simple meal under an oak at the top of the mountain.
Certainly, we cannot suggest that evil is God’s will. I’m thankful that grace abounds all the more when evil increases, but the God I trust prefers no evil. However, if we humans, of our own free will, determine to do an inhumane act, what choice does God have? What is left to the One who gave us freedom? What is His option?
Healing. That’s it. Healing.
When oppression, injustice, abuse, or torture happens, God’s only choice is to begin the healing process. He knows how to restore every last fragment of a traumatized, fractured mind. He did it, does it, will continue to do it. Every sliver of human person-hood and identity is precious in His sight.
God’s ability to heal motivates me to craft a story on a subject that we are all loath to consider. It’s a consuming work in progress, but He knows when and how it will be ready to share.
In the meantime, as we allow (choice again), He continues to work within the different levels of our pain to restore our brokenness.
Because, once we make that choice, all He can do is heal.