Dear God, I saw this headline this morning when I turned on our computer: “NYC Sees No Homicides for Days after Sandy.” To put that in context, here is a quote from that article: “That’s unusual in the United States’ largest city: In the week of Oct. 15 to Oct. 21 this year, for example, there were five murders, according to the NYPD CompStat Unit. That same week in 2011 saw 13 murders.” It made me wonder what is behind that.
I think the obvious answer is that petty anger towards others gets lost when a tragedy comes along. You can see it in situations like the steps to the capitol after September 11, when members of Congress joined together to sing “God Bless America.” You can see it in families when long-standing feuds crumble when a terminal illness comes into play. I even see it in the little things. I recently had a conflict with one of my children, but then a minor crisis arose, and we were all of a sudden on the same team, pulling together to resolve the situation.
I reject the idea that you send us calamity, but I sometimes wonder if that’s one of the places where you are when calamity strikes. People ask, “Where is God in tragedy?” “Where was God in Katrina?” “Where was God when my parents were getting a divorce?” “Where was God when my father was dying?” I think the answer is that you were there doing what you are always trying to do—bring reconciliation between us and you and us and each other in the midst of the bad things that happen in life. I’ll admit, there are some atrocities that I cannot find you in, but that is a topic for another day.
Father, help me to rise above and put things into perspective. Right now, we are going through a conflict at work, and I would like to be able to put this kind of a light on it and ensure that we are responding to it in the right way. There are grudges and hurt feelings that we hold against other family members and friends, and I want to be able to move past those so that we can all be about focusing on you and what kind of a blessing you might have us be for those around us.