Thursday, August 18, 2011
The unfare skies of the Indianapolis Fair
Death and tragedy always lead to questions. It is our natural instinct not only to grieve and mourn, but to also try to discern why something had to happened, why it couldn’t be prevented, and whose fault is it. Our questions are an attempt to make some sense out of senselessness. Why it is good to ask questions to try to prevent similar tragedies, and even sometimes to find guilty parties of crimes or negligence, too often are questions simply are unanswerable.
I was at the Fair a few days before this tragic event. I knew some people who were in the grandstands waiting for the concert (none of which were hurt) and I even knew two police officers who were at the scene to witness the destruction, hospitalizations, and deaths. I feel a strong connection to this city, and a strong emotional connection to those who have lost loved ones in this event. Currently I am in mourning without city as we feel the senseless loss of our own brothers and sister. And I even find myself asking “why?”
I think back when Jesus lost his friend Lazarus. Jesus knew his friend was sick, and when he arrived to his home he discovered he was dead (and for three days). Jesus went to Lazarus’ grave and wept bitterly. Jesus wept because of the suffering and death of his friend, and Jesus also wept because of the power of evil. Jesus knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, but Jesus still wept. He wept because even though Lazarus would live again, evil still causes suffering in this world. In the midst of our loss in Indianapolis I know that Jesus is weeping right alongside our city. Jesus is weeping at the power of evil, at the suffering and pain that exists. But even in the midst of weeping Jesus knows something that he has shared with us. That even though there is death, even though there is suffering, and even though there is loss, evil does not have the final say. Death does not have the final say in our life.
The story of the cross is a story that allows us to maintain hope even in the worst of times. This is our peace as Christians that no matter what is taken from us, Jesus can and is willing to bring it back to life, not in this world, but in the place he has been preparing since the beginning of time. He does not look to bring us back to life for another period of time, but for all of time.
Instead of trying to find our comfort in assigning blame or trying to find reason, let us weep knowing that this is not the end. The evil cannot take our life, or the life of our loved ones a way forever, but that through Christ we will raise from the dead, we will be reunited with Christ, and we will be reunited with those who have gone before us. Let this be our identity, let this be our song, let this be our hope even as we weep now.