Leave it to me to see “Oppenheimer” and an interview with photojournalist, James Nachtwey, on the same day. One was about the horrors of war and the other was about…the horrors of war. So I’m a little pensive.

Why is there so much horror in the world?

The prophet Jeremiah asked God about it this way.

“Righteous are You, Adonai,
    when I plead my case with You.
    Yet I speak with You about justice.
    Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
    Why do all the treacherous thrive?”

Evil just IS. We don’t seem to understand the why. It’s especially heinous on the world stage. Some leaders want power, regardless of the goodness or badness of that power. They see righteousness (to use a biblical term) as irrelevant, which is a huge risk to humanity. No wonder horrors proliferate. And the masses follow wicked leaders, mistaking what is reprehensible for strength.

And maybe that’s part of what we need to understand. The wicked will prosper, at least for a while. But there’s more to the story. The scripture above is Jer. 12:1, and reading the rest of the chapter, we see that God tells Jeremiah “I’ve got this” (or something like that). Then we read about God’s justice. And his mercy. Which isn’t always satisfying. We want justice, period. Except for ourselves, of course, when mercy suddenly looks really good.

Anyway, the “why” question is too big for me. But the “what-can-I-do” one has a stunningly simple answer. It’s Micah 6:8, personalized. “Debbie, I’ve already shown you what is good. What do I require of you, but to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with me.”


I guess if all six billion of us did that, the big wickedness question would be a moot point.

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