Updated because Sandy Hook has been repeated so often.
When people are hurting, it is wise to let your words be few. Job’s friends were not helpful. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more cruel word being spoken after the loss of his children than Job 5:25. And yet these words were given to somehow bring comfort to Job!
Who hasn’t been disgusted by the media’s exploitation of the carnage of Sandy Hook and their unwillingness to let the families grieve and their instance that a camera in the face of a frightened child survivor, or a broken and disheveled parent was somehow helpful to people brutalized by the satanic wickedness of the events this past Friday.
I just turned off the TV and raged at them in my spirit to just let the survivors alone. Give them some privacy. Let them mourn their losses and find a way to hold on to their joyful memories of better days before their agony eclipsed their hearts. And then I cried out to God for their solace even while I asked the question that God never answers, “why God?”
Christians, real ones and nominal ones, sometimes give glib answers in these times. They try to help and end up hurting. Let your words be few. What should we say?
- We should say that we are praying for the families.
- We should say that we don’t know why God would allow such carnage.
- We should say that this was an evil act and is another demonstration that the world desperately needs the Prince of Peace.”
- We should say that evil is real and this was a wicked and satanic attack upon defenseless children and image bearers of God.
But we should say these things only if we are asked. Otherwise, we should keep our mouths shut, except to pray for those who are suffering.
Open your mouth often in prayer, but keep it shut and refuse to pontificate your opinion. Job’s friends would have been more helpful to Job if they had just continued to sit with him.