I believe that God is good. It is not enough for me to say, “I believe in God.” I must confess the goodness of God. Why? Because in the moments I am plunged into doubt and disbelief I am not concerned about God’s existence. I am concerned whether this supposedly omnipotent being can really be trusted. I remember one such moment every September.
I woke up on September 11, 2001 and went straight to my first class without turning on a radio, TV, or computer. I was an undergraduate at a public university in Arizona. I walked across campus in an eerie stillness and entered the building in which I would have class. As I walked down the hall I noticed that every room had bleary-eyed students gazing at TVs. When I entered my classroom I soon found out the horror of that day. Hours later all classes were cancelled. Our college had a vigil that night. The magnitude of the event was too great to comprehend. Life stopped for a short while. Slowly, in the days that followed, it seemed that the world started to turn again. Professors kept on teaching and homework, tests, and papers were still due. Time passed.
I woke up on September 11, 2002 a year after 9/11 in my same dorm room. I turned on the radio and listened to the morning news. There was a program on remembering 9/11. I was immediately overwhelmed with sorrow. I fell out of my chair onto my knees and sobbed uncontrollably. Why God? How could you? How could this happen? I woke up my roommate and best friend and asked him. Instinctively and half asleep he simply gave me a hug. This was the first moment I began to be aware of God’s awesome goodness in the midst of sorrow and pain.
There have been other times God’s goodness was unmistakably clear: a funeral, a bachelor and bachelor-ette party, and during a performance by Kindergarteners on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. I have discovered that when I am worn down, tired, and emotionally sensitive I am more clearly aware of God’s presence. I struggle daily with my belief, especially in the face war, social injustice, and in getting out of bed in the morning. Yet, when I am at my lowest and painfully aware of my own inability; I am blissfully aware of the graceful and good presence of God.
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