I see the world through Christian glasses.
Part of what that means to me, after several years of sifting the rules and traditions learned in childhood through what I read and learn from the Gospel, is that evil exists. So why does it still surprise me when evil makes a stunningly ugly appearance?
I believe that a Good and Holy God allows us to choose to follow Him or to follow our own inclinations, and provides a Savior and Comforter to make the choice to follow Him possible. That He allows those who choose evil, to do evil. But He never condones evil.
I believe Christians are to follow Jesus’ example of forgiveness, but that seeking justice is also part of God’s plan. We can seek justice in seeing that those who choose to do evil receive just punishment. But we are to leave vengeance to Him.
I don’t often think about a need to forgive outside of those who hurt me personally. The snub, the insult, the untruth told. Those are hard enough for me to forgive, even though I know it benefits my own emotional health more than the person I forgive.
So when senseless evil strikes and limbs and life are lost, my prayers go out for the injured and those who love them. And I am thankful I do not need to forgive the people behind the evil act that cost my eight year old son his life, my grown son his leg, or any of the other stories of trauma and loss that are now associated with the Boston marathon. I can rant and rave about the evil choices all over our country, our world, that bring darkness, despair, and fear. And I can hate those who choose to do evil…
Except for these crazy Christian glasses that focus on the One I follow. The One who teaches us to forgive our enemies. To lay down hate and leave the vengeance to God.
I believe we all have a choice. And the path that follows Jesus is not an easy one.