Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    Virgina Tech: Where was God?

    It's likely many of our youth will have Virginia Tech on their minds this week as they gather for their youth group activities. Inevitably such incidents challenge our understanding of how God works in the world. The same sort of questions came up following the 9-11 attacks. Those who held a fairly orthodox view of an interventionist theistic God were bombarded with questions: Where was God when the terrorists took over those planes, when they flew them into the towers. Where was God when the buildings caught fire and collapsed, killing those inside? Others, who held a more "God is the ground of all being" view also had to struggle to explain how such a God could be relevant in the face of overwhelming death and destruction. Then there were those willing to accept the questions and not offer quick answers --those willing to live with the mystery. Mike Yanconelli, responding to the question "Please tell me why God allowed over 6000 innocent people to be murdered on September 11, 2001?" wrote a Youth Worker column that made room for the mystery. The column has been turned into a reader's theater that might provide a thoughtful way to approach a conversation about Virgina Tech with your youth.