Don’t get me wrong: I am a believer, but there are some stories that make me feel like a high school sophomore. “How could a good and loving God allow THAT to happen?”
On a day when I should be thinking about larger questions of good and evil (the bombing of Hiroshima took place 65 years ago today), I find myself thinking about Emmett Trapp, a 2-year-old boy who died yesterday in the Arizona desert, a day and a half after he’d wandered away from home.
With 3 other children, who can blame Emmett’s mom for taking a nap? Imagine the agony she must have experienced, though, when she awoke and realized that Emmett, a tyke wearing a diaper and a dinosaur-print pajama top, had walked out of their home.
40 hours later a search party found Emmett’s body, stuck in the mud less than a mile away.
JOB ASKS FOR A MULLIGAN
In some respects, it’s almost easier for me to understand the larger stories of evil in this world because they are invariably tied into man’s decisions and his inhumanity to his fellow man. But with stories like Emmett’s, I find myself asking, “Hey, Big Guy, how much would it have hurt you to have had little Emmett wander back home? Or to have had a neighbour find him in his backyard? Would that really have distorted your grand epic of creation?”
A theologian friend of mine has observed that, “God loves us but he also loves free will.” She’s right, of course, and intellectually that makes perfect sense. But it doesn’t make me feel any better about a God who could let toddler in a dinosaur shirt die in the desert.