The loudest and most convincing voice
that rises up above the others
when different thoughts challenge the existence of God
is the one that asks, honestly:
why the evil?
A brother chokes on a chicken bone
at a holiday dinner
to enjoy family
when he took off for work to be there.
A new mother dies in a car accident
when a rock flies through the windshield
and goes through her brain
while her baby sleeps quietly in the backseat.
A father outlives his son
who had the potential to conquer the world
but instead for some reason
has a heart attack on the basketball court.
And yet we are told that God intervenes
in the world of Nature.
That he suspends its laws
or sticks his magic finger in
and turns water into wine
or gives sight to the blind
or brings back the ruler’s daughter
who was not dead, but only sleeping.
If God can do this once, he would be able to
a thousand times
or a million,
or every time, logic would imply.
Thus he must hold back flexing his omnipotence
for some wise reason
and permit the evil to occur
rather than intervene.
Yet would this not mean
that each evil that comes to pass
and that it were better that it happened,
Yet here, I believe, we slip.
For the Creator creates
and so what we call
is as much as part of his entire work
as what we call
It makes no sense to say
from his perspective
“what could have been”
for he works at once, at all times,
creating a single Creation
enveloping every moment of all,
which makes a Singular
and unable to be compared
with anything else.
Comparisons take place within the universe
not without it.
Each whole – which is what universe means –
Take away suffering, and, true
you introduce a good.
But what finite mind
that cannot see the goods of the whole
could tell what other is being sacrificed
by the omission?
Take away all suffering from love.
I have something good
but is it something I would recognize
The goods which spring forth
in the soil of pain
are so connected to the pains themselves
that the two cannot be separated,
like how a marriage
which is composed of two people
ceases to be a marriage
if but one person stands alone.
Who knows what fruit God is seeing
in the soil of a suffering creation?
Who knows what mighty tree springs forth
from what appears afterward
such a small seed?
I am not saying that
God could not make a world free of pain.
Perhaps he could – I see no contradiction.
But it seems quite a logical necessity to say
that if he were to make this world
one in which the good is asserted
over and against the evil
and which good is born and raised and purified
in the midst of pain and horror
then he could not make it without these things
for they are part and parcel
of the whole of creation.
All we must ask
and all we must decide
whether this world
even with all its pain
is still something we would say
Is it still something
taken as a whole
and balling up all its good and its bads
we would still want to taste
on the palate of our spirits.
And if so
then it seems strange
to see a contradiction in this process
of God making us into things
that have a certain appreciation
The meaning that God is giving us
is what it is
infused with goods and bads
like a drink of different flavors
that cannot be parsed
but only tasted and enjoyed
and then assimilated into