The question goes, “How can there be a loving God with so much evil in the world?” It’s the question which monotheists the world over have struggled with. There’s really no good answer to the question. Sure there are lots of answers, but once they’ve been examined they kind of suck. I don’t have any answers to this question other than to go to the fallback position of saying it’s a mystery — a paradox. I’ve got an idea though; maybe God doesn’t eliminate evil because it’s fundamental to our development as humans. Maybe rather than eliminating evil, God has chosen to overwhelm evil with beauty.
Today one of my friends posted a story to Facebook of a group of Christian, veteran bikers who go to military funerals to form a blockade between the funeral and protestors that are saying inconceivably evil things. You’ve probably heard about the church in Kansas that pickets military funerals and believe that God is punishing the U.S. for tolerating homosexuality. So this group of bikers, who believe their faith demands action, take to their bikes and form a wall of humans, flags and sound to keep the evil of the protestors from getting to the people mourning the death of a loved one. This is beauty made manifest. This is beauty overwhelming evil.
As I have thought about it, isn’t this exactly the way God works? Jesus is murdered, but in that murder comes the salvation of humanity. Anytime there is a crisis — a school shooting, a tsunami or earthquake or the like we see a thousand examples of beauty to take away the stench of that which was evil. I think of the words of Joseph in the book of Genesis, “That which was intended for evil, God has used for good.”
I don’t think that God provides the evil so that the beauty can be presented, but I think that when evil happens God is there with something beautiful. I still can’t explain why evil exists in a cosmos that is controlled by a loving God. But I do think that God is taking the metaphorical lemons of evil and making lemonade.