‘I Don’t Know’

October 10th, 2009

Dear youth worker,

Please tell me why God allowed over 6000 innocent people to be murdered on September 11, 2001?


I don’t know.

Where was God?

I don’t know.

When Leslie Weatherhead, a minister in London during the Second World War, was asked by a member in his congregation where God was when his son was killed in a bombing raid, Weatherhead replied, “I guess he was where he was when his son was killed.”

And where was that?

I don’t know.

Isn’t “I don’t know” too ambiguous? Isn’t “I don’t know” an unconvincing way to convince young people Christianity is true?

Actually, “I don’t know” confirms one critical truth about Christianity…it’s a mystery!

Jesus loves us, right?

Of course.

So if he loves us, he protects us, right?

If he loves us…he is with us.

Jesus can heal, can’t he? And perform miracles?

Of course. Just not very often.


I don’t know.

What about God’s will?

My youth director says we’re supposed to seek God’s will. There are lots of verses in the Bible that tell us to do God’s will, aren’t there? God does have a will, right?


Trouble is God’s will is not like a to-do list. It’s more like an undecipherable code. The Bible definitely gives us some clues about the code of God’s will, which means we can figure out part of it; but, because it’s God, we will never crack the code.


Yeah, like, follow me, serve me, love me, live by my commandments, point people to me.

That’s it? Just follow me, serve me, love me and trust me?

That’s about it.

What do you mean “that’s about it?”

You don’t want to know.

Yes I do.

We get a cross.

Cross????? What does that mean?

I don’t know.

But God does heal people, doesn’t he?


And miracles do happen, don’t they.


So we can count on God helping us, can’t we?

We can count on God being God.

Which means…??

I don’t know.

And what does that mean?

It means we can trust God if we lost someone in the WTC or if they survived.

It means we can trust God when we have cancer and when we’re healed.

We can trust God if we survive a natural disaster or if we don’t.

We can trust God when we get a glimpse of Divine will and when we don’t.

We can trust God in the answers and the questions, in the good and the bad, in the light and the dark, when we’re winning and when we’re losing.

We can trust God even when the Truth doesn’t answer all our questions or leaves us with even more questions.

And, most importantly, just beyond our “I don’t know’s,” Jesus is waiting with open arms to snuggle us in the mystery of his love.

Check out a reader's theatre script based on this column.


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