“I don’t understand, but I know my God does.” -Pastor Frank Pomeroy, First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas
What can anyone say in the face of violence against the elderly… against children… against a church? I am a voracious reader of news. In the wake of any tragedy, this past Sunday’s tragedy, I refresh the news feed on my phone constantly. I listen to the radio, keep TV news on in the background, all in the hope understand what has taken place, why it happened, where there might be light and hope in the situation. This makes me both typical and also a part of the problem.
Sometimes, the information is in short supply. That’s why those words of Pastor Frank Pomeroy are so resonant to me today. Our hunger for answers can drive us for the unsatisfying junk food of platitudes and “nice” things well-meaning people say after a tragedy. There is a shortage in the supply of courage to stare down an international media machine and start with those three, wonderful, necessary, and so rarely heard words: “I don’t understand.” When we understand least just might be when we are most able to put our whole trust in God.
Our need for instant information and understanding stands against the account of Jesus’s Resurrection. Every Lent we remember that Holy Thursday preceded a Good Friday. But before the stone rolled away on Easter morning, there was a long, hard Saturday. Can you picture that hopelessness? Waiting and worrying and wondering if their hope had been for nothing? We all need that Saturday time, even in a world in which the news never sleeps and the information never stops.
My prayer is that we take time to pray, to mourn, to cry, and to wonder before looking for answers.
Keep the faith,