God Isn’t Fixing This – But He Can

by Andy Wood on December 4, 2015

in Ability, Exploring the Possibilities, Five LV Laws, Gamblers, Life Currency, LV Alter-egos, LV Cycle, Photos, Principle of Freedom, Tense Truths, Words

Daily News Headline

Back in the late sixties and early 70s we gathered around our TV sets with the three available channels on Monday nights for Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in on NBC.

One of the repeated gags on the lightning-fast show was the old joke from the diner, “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.” I remember in one episode, the waiter is behind the counter and seven or eight people sitting at the bar say, one right after another, “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.” Whoever was playing the waiter went down the counter, spewing out one punch line after another. Sorry, can’t find the YouTube clip for that, but it went something like this:

There’s a fly in your soup? Keep it down sir, or they’ll all be wanting one.

There’s a fly in your soup? Sorry sir, guess I forgot it when I removed the other three.

There’s a fly in your soup? Then we’ve served you too much soup, the fly should be wading.

There’s a fly in your soup? Couldn’t be, sir. The cook used them all in the raisin bread.

There’s a fly in your soup? It’s OK, Sir, there’s no extra charge!

There’s a fly in your soup? No sir, that’s a cockroach, the fly is on your steak.

There’s a fly in your soup? What do you expect? It’s fly soup.

Call me weird, but that’s one of the first things I thought of when I read the headline of the New York Daily News in the immediate wake of the devastating shootings in San Bernadino – yet another American city whose name has become synonymous with mass murder.

GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS, the headline blasted, riffing on and ripping the condolence statements of Republican presidential candidates.

Thought: This is a joke, right? A bad joke.

Thought: So many possible responses, so little time.

Disclaimer: You may find that headline offensive because of the timing or the smackdown of the Almighty. I don’t.

Disclaimer: You may feel the need to defend God’s honor or reputation. I don’t. He’s big enough to take care of himself, to say nothing of you, me, and the New York Daily News.

Disclaimer: You may feel a need to cancel your Daily News subscription or rise up in protest. Okay, but I don’t. I’m not a subscriber anyway.

Look, I get that the headline is provocative – more on that in a minute, because I am provoked. But I’m personally giving them a pass. It was written in a time of pain and frustration, to me no different than the time the elderly lady said in the funeral home following the tragic death of her grandson: “I’m just mad at God!” Lemme just tell ya’, that started a few conversations.

It was not a theological statement, but a political one. Jim Rich, the editor-in-chief, said this:

The Daily News‘ front page is not, in any way, shape or form, condemning prayer or religion. Anyone suggesting otherwise is either — intentionally or unintentionally — misconstruing the point, which is that most GOP politicians have offered nothing but empty platitudes and angry rhetoric in response to the ongoing plague of gun violence in our country.

Okay, Jim, I get it. So since you’re concerned about the “ongoing plague of gun violence” – the latest of which took place in the most gun-legislated, gun-controlled state in the country – I’m sure you’re looking for a government-gun-controlling answer. I’ll leave you to that and good luck.

God Isn’t Fixing This! I’m still there. And it is a theological statement to me, even if it wasn’t intended to be. But I’m not offended, Jim, because I think you’re right. He isn’t.

And I just can’t help it – even in my sorrow for innocent people who were just trying to get some medical needs attended to or enjoying a holiday-don’t-call-it-you-know-what party, I can’t help thinking of the many possible responses to that statement.

America, there’s a fly in our soup!

Only this is no joke, and the answers are not punch lines or, in Jim’s words, “empty platitudes and angry rhetoric.”

God isn’t fixing this!

Okay, here goes…

God isn’t fixing this? He didn’t break it.

God isn’t fixing this? Maybe that’s because we’ve never really asked him to.

God isn’t fixing this? Which god are you referring to? The god of government? The god of sex? The god of money? The god of political power?

God isn’t fixing this? Trust me, that’s a “fix” you probably don’t want.

God isn’t fixing this? Is that the God you have nearly completely legislated out of the public sphere?

God isn’t fixing this? Maybe that’s because you want a “fix” instead of a transformation of the heart.

God isn’t fixing this? Sure He is – He’s resisting the proud and giving grace to the humble.

God isn’t fixing this? You don’t fix what you’ve given up on.

God isn’t fixing this? If He did you’d sue for equal time for the devil and rule the fix unconstitutional.

God isn’t fixing this? What do we need God for since we’ve got [fill in your favorite substitute]?

God isn’t fixing this? Good – you’ve got Him right where you want Him.

I could go on, but God really doesn’t need my help and you probably have other things to do. Please understand, I’m not angry and I don’t think I’m being cynical – forgive me, please, if I am. More than anything I’m feeling quiet and thoughtful – and very sad.

Know what kind of sad? Let me illustrate it. Imagine you’re the mother or father of a 21-year-old drug addict who’s living on the streets. You’ve tried and tried to help, but he will have none of it. You’ve desperately prayed that something would turn your son’s life around.  And you hear that the government has come up with a new program to help your son – they’re providing clean needles so that when your boy shoots up it reduces the risk of getting HIV.

“My God!” you ask, “Is that the best you’ve got? My son needs heart help and you’re giving him cleaner access to the problem!”

It saddens me that, to borrow this analogy, all the politicians can talk about is the size, shape, and availability of “the needle,” all the while ignoring the scope and size of the real problem

C. S. Lewis famously wrote out of his own pain:

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world”

He’s shouting.

He’s shouting.

He’s shouting.

God isn’t fixing this, Jim. But He can.

(Photo credit:  David Gibson)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando December 5, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Andy, this reflection is absolutely brilliant! I’m with you on the entire perspective of the situation in which this country is in, and I marvel how you so beautifully and honestly expressed the true problem our society faces.
Blessings!
Martha Orlando´s last blog post ..Just Tell the Story

Evelyn December 10, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Love many things about this, Andy! Thank you. Blessings!

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