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Did you know that just after most of us were celebrating Mother’s Day with our families, gunmen stormed into the maternity ward of a hospital in Afghanistan this week and killed new mothers? While women were the targets, two babies and a man have also been reported among the victims.

Frederic Bonnot, who represents Doctors Without Borders, told NBC News, “They went through the rooms in the maternity, shooting women in their beds. It was methodical. Walls sprayed with bullets, blood on the floors in the rooms, vehicles burnt out and windows shot through.”

In an instant, infants lost the mothers they had just met. Days of joy and lives were stolen. Hospitals are supposed to be safe. Hospitals are where we go to heal, not where we go to be murdered.

The age old question here is not why peace remains unattainable in the Middle East but more about the very nature of good and evil. When I taught high school English one of the journal questions students often grappled with the most was, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” But the truth is that the question needed revision of its own, because both bad and good find their way to both bad and good people all of the time. We want good to happen to good people and bad to happen to bad people in our expectations of justice. When innocent people are killed, when people we love battle with cancer, when children die before their parents, and even when we face an invisible enemy in a virus we cannot control, bad seems to win. Evil seems boastful and proud. There seems to be no justice. Good people are not spared suffering.

In situations that bring me complete loss of understanding, I always repeat Isaiah 55:8-9 in my mind. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (NKJV)

It is difficult to understand why tragedies happen, why there wasn’t some divine intervention to change the course of events. All I know for sure is that God is still God, no matter what I think or question, and that He will provide comfort for those in mourning. I pray for the families in Afghanistan who had loved ones in that hospital. I pray for the babies that their lives would be protected. I pray for the doctors and nurses who show up at work tomorrow, despite what they lived through today. We don’t understand when evil runs free, but we thank you God that something in our soul is able to recognize it for what it is and to long for peace and what is right.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (KJV)

Romans 8:37-39 “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (KJV)

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV)

Smith, Saphora, et al. “‘They came to kill the mothers’: Shock, blame swirl after Afghan hospital attack.” NBC News, NBC Universe, 2020, www.nbcnews.com/news/world/they-came-kill-mothers-shock-blame-swirl-after-afghan-hospital-n1207596.

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