When Bad Things Happen to Good People… and God

This video is a lecture by Rabbi Harold Kushner and he knows something about this topic. The video is going to seem dated, but there is a lot to be learned from what he has to say. It is nearly an hour long but I encourage you to find time for the whole thing. Some of it might feel encouraging, scary, healing, uncomfortable or even dangerous. I would just recommend taking it all in. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

All This Evil?

I used to think all this evil was evidence of God either being non-existent or not all good. It took a long time but I don’t feel that way anymore. In order for us to have the freedom to choose to love God, and to show our love through our love of our neighbors (and we are all neighbors), I suppose we must conversely have the option to not love God, to not love our neighbor. The end result is the darkness that we are seeing in the world: human trafficking, genocide, working poor, etc. It is all tragically heartbreaking, an end result of choices we are making and actions we are perpetuating against another.

This does comfort me more than the old belief of an absent or uncaring God. Despite all of the ways we fail I know that I have a good God that loves all of us and that through Him we can restore these things. But we have to choose hard things sometimes. In the US, the land that tells people think “me me me,” and, “consume,” we’ll have to be counterculture. Just like Jesus was.