A bright Tuesday morning it was. Mehdi was seated in his shop, as always, observing the busy road in anticipation of the next customer -who would be the first customer of that day. He would never get a customer until eleven o’clock in the morning. He always cherished this period of time when the shop would be open yet no customer had set foot in the store. Mehdi loved counting down the hours to the mid-morning for that’s the most likely time he would make his first sale.
Whilst still caught in his thoughts, a young lad trying to cross the street catches Mehdi’s attention. When almost done crossing the road, an over speeding car runs the young lad over and kills him instantly. Mehdi was filled with rage! The young lad could be between seven and ten years of age.
Mehdi, who was not a believer in the Christian God or any God for that matter, closed his shop and walked to a nearby church. He had questions; not because he wanted to build a faith in God but because he had overhead many Christians talk about their God as being one who is good and loving. Mehdi wanted to understand where the goodness and the love of this God was when this accident happened. He got to the church, found the minister and without any pleasantries he asked, “If God is good, if God is love, why is there so much evil in the world?”
“Hello brother, at this moment do you want to vent or do you want answers?” The minister rather sensitively replied.
“I want answers!” Mehdi asserted.
“Then have a seat.” The minister suggested. “I’ve had such questions too brother. I may not offer a complete answer but I promise not to sell you short. I will give you everything I know.” The minister declared.
“If God is good, why is there so much evil and why can’t He stop all the evil?” Mehdi impatiently queried.
“Well brother, let us think through this together. If you accept the idea that God is good then you are also accepting the idea that everything that is contrary to God and His standards is evil. We as human beings have a lot in us that is imperfect and wrong. We consistently break rules and abuse nature as such we do not necessarily live up to God’s standard. This, according to the statement that everything that is contrary to God and His standards is evil, gives us as humans the stain of evil. We do not always agree with God’s standards. This being the case, if God was to stop evil, do we want Him to stop it all together or just in others? If you want him to stop evil all together, knowing that evil is anything contrary to God and His standards, where do we go as humans? Won’t we all die at once?” The minister replied.
“But you preach that God loves us as human beings. Why then does He allow sin and evil in the first place? Why doesn’t He stop it?” Mehdi asked further.
“Allow me to say this again, I do not have a definitive answer but I will not sell you short. I will give you the best I can. God is love. He loves His creation, He loves us as humans. Where there is the possibility of love, there must be the reality of free will. Where there is a reality of free will, there will inevitably be the possibility of sin. Where there is sin, there is need for a savior. Where there is a savior, there is the hope for redemption and salvation. Because God loves the human being, He provided a way back to be in agreement with Him and this is also God’s instrument of dealing with evil.” The minister calmly replied.
“But this young lad was innocent -yet he died! The young lad did not deserve to die!” Mehdi lamented.
“I wish I had all the answers for you my brother. I know I cannot fully comprehend your pain and troubles. I know this for sure though, a lot of innocent lives are lost everyday. I can never fully comprehend why, because just like you I am human. Amongst us humans, there are those of us who have chosen to be reconciled to God and His ways and there are those of us who have chosen to stay away from God. Both categories live together in this world. As some part of the human race actively fights evil, another part of it embraces it. These two worlds continually collide. At least that’s how I see it. Maybe in the collision and interaction of these two worlds the young lad’s life was taken away in his innocence. As I said, I do not have all the answers, but that’s the best I can offer.” The minister concluded.
Mehdi stood up, said nothing and walked back to his shop.
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