Yesterday, in A&E where I work, a 2 year old child died - or was already dead when she arrived. There are few things worse to witness than a dead child and the grief of parents. None, especially those of us with our own children, could fail to be moved deeply by sadness and fear.
On reflection I learnt, or had reaffirmed, some things from this:
- God did not cause this tragedy; God could not prevent it. God was present at every moment and never abandoned her. (God is present at every moment and never abandons us.) This child has not fallen out of God's hands — is still held firmly in God's loving embrace. She is not lost.
- Life on this Earth was and is formed out of cosmic forces of change too vast for us to grasp. A world without risk, without vulnerability to accident, is a world with out change, without possibility, without life.
- We humans create many of the conditions that lead to the death and destruction of our brothers and sisters. God has nothing to do with this: the culpability and the solutions are down to us.
- But, we can't escape the fact the world as given to us is not safe: it could not be otherwise.