On Tragedy and Suffering


Our country is in a state of shock at the death of 15 people who were travelling down a Saskatchewan highway, looking forward to an exciting evening of camaraderie and competition. At the moment of impact between a bus and a truck, the world was forever changed for them, their families, first responders and all of us, including the driver of the truck who survived the horrific crash.

And then to add more to the suffering, two of the young men were misidentified – one who was pronounced dead is alive, and the other said to have been alive is dead. The Justice Ministry of the Government of Saskatchewan has apologized for the colossal error, but the damage has been done. Those two families are reeling as their worlds have been turned completely upside down – again.

The suffering has been unimaginable. And, unfortunately, some of the people who have been dispatched to offer comfort and hope, have added to the suffering. One of the Chaplains, during the vigil that was held last Sunday night for those who died, said that this accident was  part of God’s divine plan. Are you comforted by such a comment? If I think about that statement more deeply, it expresses a view of God that is highly disturbing. What kind of loving, caring God would deliberately include such suffering as part of some mysterious, divine plan? To see if we can endure the suffering?

In the face of such suffering, we always ask “Why?” Why did some live and others perish? Why did such a horrific crash happen on a spring evening when it was still daylight? Why do good people die when others who commit acts of evil live? People naturally ask these questions and people naturally turn to ministers, priests, pastors and other spiritual leaders to answer these questions. But if this is the answer that is given, suffering is added to suffering and God has because cruel and heartless. Not my God!

For me, God is an all loving and all caring God. God’s tears were the first tears to fall at the moment of impact. And that’s where my God lives. In the broken hearts of all of us.

Blessings, Linda