I recently spoke at Union College about putting God’s love on display in our beautiful but hurting world. At the beginning of the talk, I asked two questions. One was: What kind of painful experience would make you no longer believe that a good and loving God exists or is listening to your prayers? What is your threshold beyond which you couldn’t believe God is love?
Although the chapel talk didn’t go as planned, my intention was to conclude with this:
And remember that tougher question about what level of horrible experience would make you quit believing in a loving God? Well, whatever it was you thought of, someone somewhere is going through that very thing right now. Peace studies is not all sweetness and light. We actually spend a lot of time looking at the darker corners of human experience, and I can tell you that dark thing you imagined is happening to someone. So what can I do to stop it? What can I do to speak God’s love into that situation? What would it take to get involved or to support people who are directly involved?
And this room is big enough that the odds are someone here has already experienced that dark thing. Maybe you’ve given up on God because of what happened to you. To you I can only say that I have prayed for you this week, that someone will step into your situation and give you the love and support you need, that someone will be with you to walk through this so you know you’re not alone.
The next day my wife and I had the opportunity to meet Paul Yates of Tiny Hands Intl (Facebook | Twitter), an organization that works to prevent trafficking and then also takes care of girls and women who are rescued from trafficking. One of the resources he pointed us to is the film, The Day My God Died, whose title speaks directly to the question I had asked the chapel attendees. It’s a dark question, but it’s an important one that can direct us toward actions that bring hope, healing and justice to someone desperately in need of all three. Watch the short film online, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
I was excited to hear that the Union College chapter of Amnesty International is expanding to also work with Tiny Hands. How many other SDA schools and churches can support this work? Will you pray for at least one?
Here are three additional resources Paul shared with us: