Every once in a while, I have to write an angry post. This is one of them. You might automatically think I’m angry at God, but I’m not. I’m not even angry at the person I’m going to tell you about…well, not very angry. I’m angry at the rest of the people in this saga, the community of believers who just slandered God so horribly that it makes you think back fondly to the days we used to stone people for blasphemy.
A horrible, horrible thing has happened: our tiny, close-knit, “everybody knows everybody” community suffered a great loss. A 16-year-old girl died in a car accident Sunday morning. It has shaken everyone who even knew where her school was, let alone those who actually had the privilege of knowing her.
Sadly, she’d only gotten her license two months ago. She was driving fast enough to flip her SUV when she went off the road…at 3:30 in the morning, after leaving a party.
I sound like I’m judging her, but I’m not. I promise. Yes, statistically there’s an excellent chance that alcohol or texting were involved, but there’s just as likely a chance that inexperience and exhaustion were the culprits. Perhaps she fell asleep for a split second and jerked the wheel when she realized she was going off the road; it doesn’t have to be drunk driving.
But here’s the anger: the response from the community–even those who claim they are Christians–has been to blame God for this. Oh, they don’t realize they’re blaming him, but that’s exactly what they’re doing. Facebook posts and text messages of support and other notes of reassurance have all said the same thing: God called her home.
“God has picked another flower from his garden to brighten up Heaven!”
“We are often laid low by God’s plans, but we know it’s his will!”
“God called another one of his angels home!”
STOP IT. This isn’t God’s fault. I refuse to believe it was his will, either. I know that God had a plan for this beautiful, talented girl, and it involved college, marriage to a man he chose for her years ago, and raising up children in the way that they should go. Dying alone in an upside down car when she should have been home in her bed was not his plan, so stop blaming him for this one!
The sad thing is people think they’re being supportive when they say these things. They think they’re sharing words of encouragement. THEY’RE NOT. They’re telling two parents whose own hearts broke when the police knocked on their door that GOD DID THIS TO THEM. And why? Because he was bored and wanted to hang out with this girl for a while? Because he wanted another angel nearby? NO.
God didn’t do this. God’s perfect design for us included free will, and that free will led to a decision to drive a car at a high rate of speed at the wee hours of the morning. Free will led to the person who purchased alcohol for the kids at this party; we don’t know that the driver had even had anything to drink, but we do know there was alcohol there. If there was texting involved, free will led to the driver picking up her phone. Even if it was just an animal crossing the road in front of her and she swerved to miss it, it wasn’t God’s will to kill a beautiful girl this week.
You might think, “But why didn’t he do something to stop it?” and that would be a really valid question. After all, by some versions of the story, this driver had just dropped a friend off at home before heading to her house. Why did the other girl get spared?
Who knows? But when we put the blame on God, even if we think we’re saying something kind, we destroy his name and his reputation for the believers and non-believers alike.
Now, this girl was an active Christian who openly professed her love for God and his son, Jesus Christ. Is she sitting at the Lord’s feet right now, worshiping and praising his name? YES. But for those of us who are left behind, instead of blaming God for our hurts we should focus on the love she had for God and the hope of salvation that we all can share.