In the face of tragedy, Christ welcomes our confusion and anger.

Just a few days ago, parents were dropping their children off at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, anticipating a day of love, friendship, and learning for their sons and daughters. No one could fathom what would happen soon after, when a 28-year-old shooter entered the building and opened fire, resulting in the deaths of three nine-year-old kids, three adults on staff, and the assailant.

Part of a pastor’s calling is to enter into life’s disorienting, gut-punching, heart-ripping spaces and offer perspective on questions that cannot be answered. This is especially true in situations where the main question is “Why?”

Why would a good and loving God who is sovereign over every square inch of the universe, who knows the number of hairs on our heads, who said, “Let the little children come to me,” and who promised again and again to be our shield, our protector, and our defender allow for this senseless loss of life?

Why would the same God let faithful, loving, godly educators be gutted from their families and communities? Why would he allow young survivors to experience the trauma of hearing gunfire and then being rushed frantically to safety?

Why would he not foil and fail the shooter’s plans before a single shot was fired? Why would the One who holds even the hearts of kings in his hands not redirect the assailant’s heart as well? Why would God allow for one of his own image-bearers to go to such an inexplicable and horrific place and then follow through with those intentions?

We already know the answer to these questions, which is that we’ll never know the answer to these questions.

Nashville musician and producer Charles Ashworth, also …

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