How Can God Be Real When the World Is so Messed Up?
No one who lives long on our planet remains unaffected by evil and suffering. As a boy of nine, my time came early.
No one who lives long on our planet remains unaffected by evil and suffering. As a boy of nine, my time came early. On our way home from a driving holiday, my family were driving through thick fog in the mountains. Dad was driving, my mum and sisters were sleeping, and I was awake in the back. Then it happened. Out of nowhere a truck pulled out in front of us on a single lane road, and what happened next is seared into my memory.
Our van smashed into the truck, spun out across the road, and came to a halt spanning both lanes. Oncoming vehicles broke and swerved, only just missing me. My sisters woke screaming. My dad’s hands were frozen on the wheel in shock, covered in the butter that had broken free of the car fridge in the back when it hurtled forward. But what I remember most is an image of my mum, whose head had collided not only with the back corner of the truck as it crushed her side of the van, but also with the car fridge from behind. There she was, slumped over unconscious in her chair, her body eerily still, and her face covered in blood.
That was the end of my childhood. And without knowing it, or even being able to clearly articulate my thoughts and feelings, there on that roadside as a boy, I had stumbled onto the most ancient and enduring objection to God.