Bonhoeffer’s words on tragedy born of evil

I, like most of the nation, have been following the terrible news of the deaths of the children and adults this past Friday. A few minutes ago Dave said, “Listen to this. It’s very fitting for us right now.” He then read to me from a small booklet by Dietrich Bonhoeffer titled “Who Stands Fast?”, an essay written only two years before his death. Bonhoeffer wrote it for his comrades, who stood with him against the Nazi regime. The following quote is under Bonhoeffer’s subtitle: “A Few Articles of Faith on the Sovereignty of God in History.”

“I believe that God can and will bring good out of evil, even out of the greatest evil. For that purpose he needs men who make the best use of everything. I believe that God will give us all the strength we need to help us to resist in all times of distress. But he never gives it in advance, lest we should rely on ourselves and not on him alone. A faith such as this should allay all our fears for the future.”

We have witnessed great evil. I think that requires us to be thoughtful, to be much in prayer, and to be sympathetic and empathetic to those hurting. Perhaps, in these kinds of actions, we will be “mak(ing) the best use” of an act which had no good in it and become part of God’s transformative power.

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