I know you're mad at me right now. That's all right. People have been mad at me before and will be again. Being mad is part of being human. My son got mad, too. It's right to be mad: at injustice, for example, or at the lack of charity. You probably think that I am unjust and uncharitable when an airplane goes down like that. All those people lost. The children, gone. It doesn't seem right; it can't be loving. You ask, "Where was God? Why would He allow that to happen?"
I allow it to happen because I allow you freedom. I could have kept you on a string and made you dance all day without getting tired. I could have moved your mouth for you and made you sing all night without growing hoarse. I could have pulled a wire that would have let you soar skyward and never fall. I could have but I didn't because I love you too much. I want you to be free to decide when to dance and sing. Free to determine when you will come to me in faith and hope. Because you are free, some of you choose not to dance or sing. Some of you select hatred over love, revenge over forgiveness, bombs over a helping hand. As you choose, I watch. I do not disappear. I listen for both the songs and the bombs. And I remember.
"WHERE WAS GOD?", you wonder. I was there. I whispered in the ear of a little girl, "Don't be afraid, I am with you." I held the hand of a businesswoman as tightly as she clutched mine. I cradled a pilot against my shoulder as if he were a baby again. Amid the paralyzing fear, I was there as I was with my son in the garden. Amid the unbearable pain, I was there as I was with him when he was whipped. Amid the terrible realization that life was ending too soon, I was there, as I was when he was hung on the cross and asked, like you, "My God, why have you forsaken me?"
I had not forsaken him. I did not forsake those on the plane. I was there as they fell and as they arose to eternal joy. I listened to their anger, answered their questions and showed them why they had been created. Not to end that way, but to live forever with me. In an instant, they came into existence. As you did. In an instant, they left this world. As you will. But beyond that last instant, I kept my promise: a little girl dances...a businesswoman sings and a pilot keeps his wings. Forever.
(Thanks to Craig Henrichsen, pilot for Southwest, for this article.)