If God is patient with anything, it’s our ability to fully embrace avoidance and denial. It’s a God who can watch humanity mess up this whole world by killing our neighbors, imprisoning those who scare us, raping the land as if it was ours to take, denying access to resources for those who lack the most basic of necessities, inciting violence and war, and, at the end of the day, worrying about our own needs rather than the beloved community that Christians so readily proclaim.
Now please do not misunderstand me, I claim not that these things — horrible, painful, and devastating in all their various forms — are somehow acceptable. They are not. The pains of this world are far too much. It was with ferocity that I learned the cliché phrase of “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” with which we so often respond to tragedy is a lie. Everyday on this planet the ground shakes below our feet, children die, people are abused and worth diminished for the most vile of reasons. Life hurts, a lot. The ache piles up, and far too often it does so seemingly all at once and it is too damn much.