Our free will and fallen nature can bring us pain | Church Corner

Many of us are still operating in a state of disbelief over the incredibly evil and destructive assault on the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14 of last year. Even so, with a distance of some 3,000 miles and nearly three weeks, it’s sadly easy to be dismissive of its horror until we are somehow reminded of it.

Many of us are still operating in a state of disbelief over the incredibly evil and destructive assault on the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14 of last year. Even so, with a distance of some 3,000 miles and nearly three weeks, it’s sadly easy to be dismissive of its horror until we are somehow reminded of it.

For me, the reminder has come almost daily as we have had the opportunity to have our 5-year-old granddaughter with us since before Christmas. I don’t think there has been a moment when I have gazed upon her in silence thinking how awful some parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters still have it, and will continue to have it for a long, long time.

This Christmas was radically different for them as will be every Christmas from this point on. It’s heartbreaking to contemplate it.

I think for many the question that remains is “how?” And, “how” offered up in various ways:

“How could he have gotten in the school?”

“How could anyone even contemplate such a horrendous act?”

And perhaps the most difficult of all, “How could an all loving, all knowing God, allow it?”

I once heard someone say that the most loving act God ever performed was bestowing upon the crown of his creation, mankind, free will. This loving act brings with it all kinds of downsides, however. Because of the sometimes toxic mix of free will and a fallen nature, some will choose to open fire in elementary schools and movie theaters. Because God loves you and me enough to not MAKE us choose him, our race, while seasoned with much goodness and kindness, is also flavored with the bitter. It’s the grim reality of a free existence.

But just as death’s reality doesn’t negate life, so too sin and a choice to act in a depraved manner neither negates God nor invalidates his existence. The one who loves you and wants to be in relationship with you, also sheds tears of grief over the shameless actions of those who irresponsibly exercise their divinely-granted free will. As long as depravity is a part of the equation, pain will be, too. The prophet Isaiah was correct when he stated “All we like sheep have gone astray, each to our own way.” It’s part of our fallen nature and it won’t be eradicated until we’re made perfect in his sight. Until then, sin will happen and we will continue to join our tears with his, and grieve this loss still, doing so in the company of the almighty.

More in Life

Fishing derby set for April 28, courtesy of Buckley Kiwanis

Grab your fishing rod and head down to the pond at Uncle John’s RV Park.

“W is for Welcome: A celebration of America’s diversity”

The kid down the block looks nothing like you. His parents don’t… Continue reading

The power of the powwow | Slideshow

Enumclaw High School and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe put together the 23rd annual powwow last weekend.

Past the gushing, gruesome details ‘The Trauma Cleaner’ is worth a read

Wash your hands thoroughly. That’s good advice, no matter where you are.… Continue reading

While focusing on athletic endurance, this book also relates to everyday life

You need a shave. It’s been awhile and, though you’ve been grooming… Continue reading

Explores the Civil Rights Movement with Congressman John Lewis | Pierce County READS

Congressman Lewis of Georgia is one of the key figures of the Civil Rights Movement and the only remaining speaker alive from the Big Six Leaders that organized the 1963 March on Washington.

We often believe bad things only happen to others

It could never happen to you. Other people have problems. They don’t… Continue reading

Take a sneak peak into summer activities | Pierce County Parks and Recreation

Learn what summer activities are available for you, your family, and your children at the Summer Camp Preview Fair.

‘The Group’ is a must-read, valuable resource

‘Til death do you part. Did those words give you pause when… Continue reading

A modern fairytale with a twist

He did it on one knee. One knee, with a nervous grin… Continue reading

Enumclaw High hosts 7th annual Empty Bowls event

The event, held at Enumclaw High School, will help fund the Enumclaw Food Bank and Plateau Outreach Ministries.