O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.
(Psalm 139:1-6, NRSV)
On the news early this evening, we heard people saying, "Thank God! Thank God!" They expressed thanks for the story that feels so miraculous tonight, that a pilot landed a plane IN THE RIVER and everyone survived.
Pure Luck asked, "If the plane had gone in, would they be giving God credit for that, too?"
I usually talk about feeling God is with me, no matter what is happening, present but not directive (although, seriously, I could use a bit more direction right this minute), or perhaps more precisely guiding but not commanding.
But I guess what I want to say to Pure Luck, who is in the next room reading the news on his computer and maybe I ought to just say the words, is this:
God is good. All the time.
And since I believe that, I don't believe God is in the bad things that happen, creating them or manipulating them, most assuredly not using them to punish us. Today we saw a catastrophe born of the way the world is, full of geese and people and enormous machines that fly through the air, and apparently peopled by at least one person who knew how to handle the collision between them.
One of the survivors, I heard, lost a family member on 9/11. Why, God, did this day turn out so well when that day turned out so badly? Just who did you lay your hand on that day?
I want to believe: everyone. It's how we respond to the hand of love, individually and collectively, that makes the difference, in the air, on the land, and in the river.