Many of you have doubtless heard about the tragedy in Casper, Wyoming, on Christmas Eve. A 22-year-old snowboarder collided with a woman and her five-year-old daughter on a black diamond resort slope. The snowboarder and the little girl perished in the accident, and the mother is, as of this writing, in critical condition in a Casper hospital. Exactly how and why it happened may never be known, but there may be blame enough for both. Why did the mother and the little girl stop in the middle of the slope rather than at the side of the trail? Was the snowboarder going too fast, if he could not stop in time to avoid people stopped in the middle of the trail? In accord with human tendency, different people are assessing blame to each party involved.
When you consider the tragic elements involved, that it was on a holiday so special to many people, that it snuffed out the lives of two young people with so much life ahead of them, that it involved a comparatively frivolous activity, and that there are two pairs of parents left to grieve the loss of their children, we are moved to wonder why. There will likely be guilt, anguish, and anger for the survivors of this sad event.
Tragic events happen many times over on a daily basis. They are reminders of the fallen world in which we live. They point out the heavy consequences that follow the choices that we make, especially ones deemed unwise. They emphasize the unpredictable, fragile nature of life and the fact of the inevitable appointment all of us will make with death.
How do Christians face tragedies? Our faith in the Great I Am trusts that He can work in the most tragic events of life and bring about good, though He is never responsible for sin or evil. Our trust in His power leads us to find comfort and hope, both of which shine brightest in the darkest days. Our perspective concerning life and spiritual things causes us to cast our focus on “things above” and the eternal facet of our being, knowing that this life is not all there is. There is a “heaven to gain” and a “hell to shun.” Knowing these things, we can be God’s gentle, guiding force to help and encourage those without benefit of these blessings of Christianity. Through them, we may be able to open a door that leads to the salvation of souls. Let us keep that heavenly perspective in tragic times!