Everything does not happen for a reason and God did not concoct this pandemic to punish us, to test us, to teach us something, or for any other purpose.
Not everything has a reason or a purpose. Not all questions can be answered.
We believe, above all things, that there is one God and that our God is fundamentally good: God is the essence of goodness itself, and of love, and of welcome, and of grace. We believe in God because God is good, and loving, and welcoming, and full of grace. We do not believe in God because God gives us easy answers, or solid comforting answers, or even vague answers. We believe in God because we believe that God is greater than all things, that God made all of creation, and that God loves all people.
Good things do not always happen to people who deserve them and bad things do not always happen to people who deserve them, either. It isn’t fair, but it is a fact of the universe nonetheless.
I hope that you are managing to find bits of joy these days. I hope that you are finding yourself reconnecting with people–over phone or video calls, through social media, across a backyard fence, by snail mail, or any other way. I hope that you are finding yourself able to do something that you enjoy, whether that’s an old hobby, books, Netflix binges, card games, art, cooking, exercise, or anything else. I hope that you are maintaining hope.
But I also want to remind you, in case you need to hear it, that it is okay to fall apart. It is okay to despair in what the future might bring. It is even okay to be angry at God. You can do all of those things while still steadfastly believing in our God who is good and loving and welcoming and full of grace. Even Jesus wept at the death of his friend Lazarus–even knowing that he held the power to bring him back from the dead. There is an awful lot going on around us that is truly tragic and it is only human to grieve those tragedies.
Our faith is not built on solid, comforting answers. There is far too much complexity in the universe to expect simple explanations at the foundations of it all. But I can promise you this: no matter what happens, God loves you and God is with you. God has seen us through times of pandemic before and somehow, God will see us through again.
shalom and agape,
Rev Leia Rose Battaglia
Rev Leia Rose Battaglia