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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

July 19, 2013

WHERE GOD WAS

I saw the You Tube video of the Cleveland women who were kidnapped and held captive for 10 years.

It’s powerful.

Each of the women speaks slowly, with feeling. Each reads from a script so that they are able to best express their feelings about returning to the world outside their prison-attic.

One woman said that she was “getting stronger” and was grateful for the support of the community. But she asked that their privacy be respected. They are moving forward with their new lives and “putting the past behind them.”

Their calm and graceful demeanor touched me. Said one of them, “I don’t want to be consumed by hatred.”

And one woman said that she needed to take a leap of faith and “know that God is in control.”

That is a difficult statement to make. It’s a good one; one that needs to be said, but it begs the question of: “Where was God in the previous ten years?”

If I were a teen-ager in our church, I would be asking that very question: “Where WAS God in the previous 10 years of those women’s captivity?”

But that question makes an assumption that God is a chess master who decides just what does and does not happen to us. God moves us/the chess pieces around the board. If that were indeed so, I don’t see how God could let captivity happen to those children/now-women.

Yet, the woman has it right: God is in control. If God is love, if God is community, if God is graciousness and is not retribution, then these women are on the long road to recovery. They seem to be surrounded by family and skilled professionals and people of faith, who will give them space, allow them to heal and encourage them to connect with others.

There is power in community. It seems to me, that is where and how the presence of God is seen and felt at its best.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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