I have to say, I pretty much agree with this column by Norah Vincent, the title of which asks, "Is God There Only in Happy Endings?"
Then, of course, there has been the rash of child abductions across the country in the last few weeks, leaving us unbelieving that any God could countenance the unspeakable suffering of a 5-year-old girl, sexually assaulted, murdered and left propped up on the side of the road. Where was our miners' God then? Was he there when Samantha Runnion lay frightened and in pain beyond enduring? Is he there by the side of Elizabeth Smart, wherever she may be? Or was he only there in Philadelphia when mercy was shown to 7-year-old Erica Pratt, who escaped to safety by chewing through the duct tape with which her captors had bound and gagged her?
Maybe God has been busy in Pennsylvania.
Or maybe we're just custodians of a cheap and bribable faith. Maybe we're just the kind of fair-weather believers who pray for the winning Lotto ticket or the outcome of an election or who cross themselves in the batting box and the end zone because they think God cares about a timely touchdown or home run. * * *
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Our God should be constant, the God both of tears and laughter, not the God of good fortune at the track. If we can make of God nothing more than a name to be cut and pasted haphazardly into oaths, or praised only on the auspicious days, then we have lost the faith this nation -- under and trusting in God -- was founded on and, moreover, the faith that makes it worth defending.
Happy endings have nothing to do with it.