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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"You're asking the wrong question..."

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”
 Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.
(John 9:1-3 - The Message)
As I wrote on my Facebook page last night, the fall-out from the bombing that happened yesterday in Boston was tragically heart-breaking, to say the least, and I can't even imagine what the people who were there at the site of the marathon are currently going through, both physically and emotionally.

And, as I also said yesterday, I may be wrong about this (and if I am, I will be the first to admit it) but I don't get a vibe that this is the work of the Taliban, or any other terrorist group of that ilk. This feels domestic to me, but it's horrible either way...and it's really neither here nor there, anyway, because that's not what this post is about.

Yesterday, while the Boston Marathon was finishing up in Massachusetts, we were having a nice, relaxing day of enjoying the beauty of Georgia nature down at Callaway Gardens. We were having a good time taking pictures of flowers and waterfalls and butterflies, and as I was posting some of them, along with some of the videos I had just shot of Ken doing the zip-line obstacle course on FB, I noticed that there were lots of posts about praying for Boston.

As I began to read more posts from more FB friends, it became obvious that something bad had just happened in Beantown.

I did a quick Google search on my iPhone, and found out what everyone was talking about.

Then, as I scrolled back down on the Facebook newsfeed, I started seeing lots of posts with references to 9/11, and to "the terrorists", and to Muslims, and to our President, and to the state that our country is in (or that those people think it's in).

Soon there were the "If my people" (II Chronicles 7:14) references popping up, and the obligatory "this is what happens when you take prayer out of school" rhetoric that you always hear when there's a school shooting.

I thought to myself, "Wow...this thing just happened...we don't even know what's going on yet, and all these people are already posting judgment calls and verdicts on the whole thing! They're providing answers before we even know what the question is!"

Then I started looking for the usual references to the gays, because I know that, typically, when there's a disaster that takes place in this country, somebody somewhere starts blaming the gays for it (only Obama gets blamed about as much for them). And, sure enough, there it was. Didn't take me a full minute to find it...someone had already connected the dots from the recent news about the marriage equality debate in the SCOTUS all the way to the Boston Marathon bombing! May be an all-time record...usually, it takes a few hours before the gays start getting blasted/blamed for these kinds of things.

In the above passage from the Gospel of John, the disciples were preoccupied with the "why", while Jesus was focused on the "what", and, more importantly, the "who" of the situation. They wanted to know who had sinned to cause the blindness, and Jesus told them that they were missing the point. Here in 'The Message' translation, He actually says "You're asking the wrong question" ...

This is what I want to say to everyone who is trying to find an answer and/or trying to find someone to blame...PLEASE RE-FOCUS!

Those who believe that these are "the last days" will see the occurrence in Boston as a sign of the times.

Those who think that America is going to hell in a hand-basket because of abortion or gay rights will see it as the righteous judgment of Almighty God.

Those who hate Mr. Obama will find a way to make it his fault.

For what it's worth, here's my take on it...

I don't know the answer!

But...I don't think it's the end of the world (we've survived worse).

I don't think it's the wrath of God (or, where was God's wrath on this country during slavery?).

I don't think it's the Laws of Attraction (I believe in them for the most part, but I refuse to believe those innocent runners and their friends and families brought this on themselves).

And I don't buy into the "Everything happens for a reason" concept (this thing was senseless).

And I don't think it's the result of any other thing that people try to come up with to find an answer to the unanswerable.

Right now, all that matters is those poor, hurting people and the welfare of the City of Boston.

Just pray for them and stop trying to figure everything out.

Sometimes bad things just happen.

I remember reading something by an atheist a while back who said that people like her do better with dealing with things like 9/11 or natural disasters because they don't need to blame any higher power for them, or ask where that higher power was when it happened, or wonder why that higher power didn't do something to prevent it.

Really made me think.

Bottom line for me...PRAY MORE/TALK LESS

If you can do something, do it.

This Scripture keeps me quiet many times when I'm tempted to pontificate:
"He who answers a matter before he hears the facts—
it is folly and shame to him."
(Proverbs 18:13 -
Amplified Bible)

The wrong question: "Why did it happen?

The right question: "What can I do to help?"


  1. Right on, Bishop...praying for Boston, the victims & their families.


    (PS...I blame the cat jugglers...)

  2. Love, love, LOVE this! Watching the first responders and volunteers run TOWARDS the blasts to help the hurt and injured made my heart jump. To read of the kindness of strangers opening up their homes to any runner who needed a place to stay or a meal made me proud. In the midst of the storm, there were more rainbows than raindrops.

  3. Great post Bishop, and so true. Can't we all just get along, really??

  4. Great perspective! And quite thought provoking!
    Thank you!!!