God and Grief
I want to understand it but don’t. Unfortunately, God, faith and religion don’t help me understand a tragedy like this any better. What happened in Newtown still grips me. I’m truly relieved that God and faith can help bring comfort and healing to many during times of suffering. But for me, I only experience the grief, sadness and bewilderment of the loss.
If the God exists which some religious people talk about, then why would God allow such a terrifying, horrifying death happen to such innocent souls? And why would God allow that pain to multiply so exponentially from parent to sibling to family, friends, all of us? It’s so God awful.
I have a hard time hearing there’s a message or a meaning in the event — for now anyway. Allow me time to grieve, please. Maybe the idea of God’s message or meaning is comforting for some — and for them, I am happy — but it feels inauthentic to me in a way which trivializes the gravity of the loss. What I see are their faces, those angelic, petrified faces.
The tragedy in Newtown is not something horrible, to strengthen and prepare us for something more horrible. It doesn’t get anymore horrible for those students, teachers, parents and loved ones. You can add to the numbers, but it’s no more heartbreaking and no more explainable by any kind of divine plan that makes any kind of sense to me.
It’s tragedies like this, in part, which sent me out into the world filming, “God in the Box.” I met many people along the way, who are true believers. They believe deeply, that God has a plan and that behind everything in life there is God’s meaning. Perhaps someone in that group has a story of wisdom to share which will resonate true to me and bring me the comfort they find. I’ve listened to the pastors, priests, rabbis, even the President. With respect to all, I have not found it yet.
Together as a community, trying to live in a safe, civilized society, there are some issues of fact, not faith that we have to address: mental health, easy access to guns, violence in our media, celebrity at any cost.
I want to believe in a God who would protect our little ones and our brave teachers, principals and moms. But I think it’s up to us.
-Nathan Lang, director/producer, “God in the Box”