The Eagan community stands in shock after the tragic death of a 13-year-old boy last Friday. He was struck by a car and died.

This was an accident.

A horrible, tragic, accident.

It happened.

And we are left to wonder, to try to make sense of it.

Many people have reached out to me asking all the questions that we ask in these circumstances:

  • There are so many bad people, this boy was so good. I know God has plan but how can this be it?
  • How can there be a God if he allows something like this to happen?
  • There is an old saying that God won’t give people more than they can handle.” That sounds like a load of …

This blog post is my attempt to say the things I would say to you if we were sitting together. Please know, however, that if we were sitting together, I would not speak much, if at all. I would put my arm around your shoulders, hand you a box of tissues, and let you say and feel whatever you need to say and feel.

Consider yourself engulfed in love.

…breathe…

Now, how do we answer these questions?

We don’t.

There aren’t answers. These are the deep questions of humanity that cause us to continually plunge deeper into the mystery of life, death, and meaning.

That said, I think it is important to clarify something. I don’t think God has a specific plan for the universe, and our specific lives, as much as God has a promise.

There is a big difference between a plan and a promise.

God’s promise is to love you, to be for you, and to be with you until the end.

God creates a world in which we are free to choose and to live with the consequences of our choices. Many people make bad choices and people suffer as a result. Many people make good choices and people benefit as a result.

The “plans” of life continually unfold as billions of choices are made each moment.

God lets it unfold and promises to be with us.

The universe is a beautifully complex thing in which everything is interconnected. We cannot begin to understand how it all works.

Accidents happen.

Some accidents lead to amazing discoveries that change the shape of society.

Some accidents lead to good people suffering and dying.

And God promises to be with us in it and to walk with us through it.

I know these words are empty in the immediate pain of loss. Of course they are. Nothing eases that pain.

In time, when you are ready, I invite you to watch this video and browse these posts for more thoughts about God, suffering, and how to make sense of it all.

For now, may you experience God’s love and peace in this time of grief and loss. and may we experience it together, as a community.

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