Love and kindness outshine evil

In the midst of the Orlando tragedy – or the loss of the hundreds of lives of refugees who recently drowned – the issue of how a good and loving God allows these things to happen always comes up and there’s no easy, satisfying answer.

But the good people do is very convincing.

On the matter on the existence of evil, the logical response is that, in the instance of the massacre in Orlando, God’ involvement in restricted to granting all humans free will and we bring evil into the world. The same could be said of those profiting from putting all those refugees on unreliable sailing crafts.

As for the winds and currents that upturned the boats, well, even insurance companies call these “acts of God.” The rationale here is that God causes the acts of nature but not the effects.

Valid or not, in the anguish of the moment, these answers sound empty. Instead, we focus on the goodness and love demonstrated by those who respond to the many who suffer.

The response to the Orlando tragedy, which is of course closer to home, has been overwhelmingly generous – a great outpouring of sympathy and assistance for the families of the victims, killed or injured.

This horrible act has brought out, in most of us, the best of our broken human nature.

The challenge is to translate that goodness into everyday life by working to purge within ourselves and within our society the hateful attitudes that contributed to the killing and wounding of so many.

Perhaps, instead of grappling with the problem of evil in the abstract, we can conquer it in our hearts and in the world around us.

After all, Jesus did not lay out the message of God’s love in syllogisms, He healed and offered forgiveness.