My kids stopped by the church property with my wife yesterday for a few minutes. I guess it had been a while since they had been so close to it. It is still quite surprising to me how much this has impacted them. There isn’t a day that goes by that someone doesn’t bring up the church with questions about why someone would do such a thing. Often at bedtime my 3-year-old will talk about the “broken church” and the way it was “fired.” He just misses it, as we all do. My 6-year-old son has cried a few times recently about it still.
This highlights the nature of emotion and the way it influences us. The moment we found out the church burned down was raw. In an instant I felt physically ill and confused in some strange emotional concoction. My kids were confused and concerned about things that mattered to them. (i.e. the pictures they made for me, their friends) This moment will stick with us because of how gut wrenching it was.
It also highlights the way one person’s act of violence impacts other people. We have no idea if they person who lit the fire really wanted to hurt us or if the church was just a great target at the moment. It is hard to say. But I think we all need to remember how our actions, especially words, affect people. There is a lesson in this for us: “Think before you act.” It didn’t take much effort and he had caused millions of dollars in damages and wounded a bunch of people emotionally.
This also gives credence to the nature of humanity. In a perfect word we would never hurt each other. But sin has been a problem here, which makes us look forward to that day when it will be all over. It is there we see Jesus face to face and experience true peace. Come quickly Lord!
I am thankful for the conversations this has brought up with my children. They are wrestling with the problem of evil at a young age. This is positive because evil will be present their entire lives and if they can learn how to think biblically through it now, it will only prove to increase their faith later on. Wrestling with these things is encouraged, as hard as it might be.
God is teaching us all what it means to trust Him no matter what happens.