$#!+ Happens Theology 

Over and over again I see well meaning people, saying or posting "everything happens for a reason" type words and ideologies, to people who are walking through hard times.  When people tell other people in the midst of a tragedy or crisis that "Everything Happens for a Reason," I wish (first) to vomit and then scream running off into the sunset.  I want to be like Sheldon (from Big Bang Theory) and type AFK (Away from Keyboard), because I have to step back and breathe.  I believe in a $#!+ Happens theology.  There will be things that happen in this life that have no known explanation, no apparent rhyme or reason.  And I am okay with that.  It is definitely okay to question God, get angry with God, rant and rave at God.  God is big enough to handle it (and loving enough to walk with us through it).  There are things that happen in this world that are atrocious and horrific.  When you or a loved one has been raped, God did not do that and it is not in any way God's way of trying to teach you a lesson.  When mass genocide occurs, God is not behind it.  When people act all bat crap crazy doing violent things, that is not God.  God is NOT the author of evil.  Some stuff happens because of our free will.  We have been gifted with the choice of whether to love God, love neighbor, love creation, OR not.  Some stuff happens that we may never know why it happens.  When natural disasters happen, that humans happen to be in the path of, that is not God targeting those particular people.  God does not send hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc. to smite people.  The earth is out of balance because of pollution and because we have not been good stewards of it.  A lot of what we call natural disasters happen because of the earth trying to get back into balance.  Other natural disasters just happen and we may never know why they happen.  Why can we not accept some of the mystery of life?  We do not need to have all the answers!  Telling people, "everything happens for a reason," is neither helpful or compassionate (even if it is well-meaning). 

People use tragedy and suffering to point to why they do not believe in God.  This practice saddens me.  I believe in God, a God whose very nature is love incarnate, love lived out here and now.  Where is God in the midst of suffering and tragedy?  God is with those who suffer.  God is with those who help those who are suffering.  God is the ever abiding presence, perfect love, always in our midst walking with us every step of the way.  Can God transform our suffering, our tragedies, our hard life experiences?  Absolutely.  Can we learn from every life experience?  Sure.  So next time you have a friend going through a hard time or some tragedy occurs on a community, national, or world level, try offering the gift of loving presence.  Love people where they are, walk with people through the valleys of life.  Love others because God first loved us.   

(Stepping down off soap box now.)

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