I get asked this question a lot: "If God is a loving God, why does he allow bad things to happen." It's the go-to question when crisis hits. The assumption is that either God lets the horrible stuff happen, or -- worse yet -- makes it happen. I view things just a bit differently. Why do bad things happen? Because the world is a broken place!
I don't believe that's what God intended for us. He created community perfectly, and I think the brokenness of the place is the source of his greatest grief. Every since it all fell apart, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been working to restore it. All of it.
Life can be awful, and the world can be a horrible place, but God is good and is not content to leave it such a mess. Either one believe that God orchestrates the brokenness...or he remedies it. Scripture teaches us that God is a restorer.
On Sunday, I [deliberately] knocked a cheap vase off a table only to see it smash on the floor. I felt accomplished when I heard the gasps of the people! I used this as an example to illustrate that brokenness is a common part of our human experience. There is a beautiful Japanese art called Kintsukoroi, which means "to repair with gold". An ordinary bowl or vase may get broken. In our culture, if it's broken, it is disposable. But Kintsukoroi is the art of restoration. An artisan will take the broken bowl and repair it with gold to bring the pieces back together. What was once a utilitarian bowl now becomes a work of art, elevating the bowl to a whole new level of appreciation and honor. These mended bowls are cherished for generations.
I would take the pieces of the broken vase and throw them away. That is not what God does!
Psalm 34:18 says, The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. God is a master artisan of human Kintsukoroi. When lives, families, churches, communities, and the world is beaten up and torn apart, they cannot be disposed of like trash. Instead, we are picked up by the Creator and restored, making something beautiful from what was broken.
That's what God does. He restores brokenness. And if that's what God does, that's what he is calling us to do. How do we partner with God to restore lives, families, churches, communities, and the world? We build community modeled after Jesus Christ.
Our purpose becomes interwoven with God's purpose. Our lives become interwoven with God's life. Our lives become interwoven with our community.