After Manchester: A Moment to Reflect

News of the terrible events in Manchester broke last night, and immediately both the internet and the airwaves were filled with clamour and speculation. Nineteen confirmed dead; at least 59 hospitalised; many children still being searched for by their parents. It is the stuff of nightmares, but, in this case, the nightmare is real. We are told that the blast had all the  elements of a terror attack, and the fact that the target was unarmed young people simply highlights the horror and revulsion we all feel. So, how do we deal with it?

For some, it will be necessary to talk: to spew out all the anger and frustration they feel when faced with something we none of us can control. For some, it will be more helpful to remain silent: to wrestle inwardly with rage and incomprehension and the desire for revenge which can so often find an unjust focus. And for some, there will be the apparent ‘nothingness’ of prayer: the constant dashing against Christ of all the bafflement and contradictory feelings we have in the face of such suffering. Whichever way we choose, and most of us won’t actually ‘choose’ but respond instinctively, there is one thing we need to remember: if this was a terrorist attack, a deliberately planned act, then Christ died for this sin, as he died for all human sin, and has redeeemed it. That does not lessen the pain, the sorrow or the sense of outrage, but it does allow a chink of light into the darkness.

Note: it has now been confirmed that this was a terrorist attack, and the number of those confirmed dead has risen to 22. May they rest in peace. Amen.

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7 thoughts on “After Manchester: A Moment to Reflect”

  1. God is in the suffering, He is there with the Emergency Services, He is there with the dead and dying. He is there alongside those who mourn. Help us to grow closer to God and not turn our backs on Him.

  2. Such terrible news. Millions of us will be praying for those killed and injured, and for their families. For the emergency services and those good souls in Manchester who are helping all those affected by this atrocity.
    God does not create the problems but he has the answers. If those who have perpetrated​ this violence really loved God and their neighbours, all those killed and injured would be safe and well today. Christ died for us all, sinners of whatever magnitude. The way is peace and love, not hatred and violence.

    • I am not sure I agree with you on this. To say that God is angry and despairing . . . no. God understands our pain, but he is not bound by the limitations of our human understanding or reactions.

  3. Thank you for this. I was praying by instinct as soon as I heard the first news of it.

    I have been editing an Essay on Healing and Wholeness today, which drew my attention to some of the scripture and passages of Jesus’ healing of so many things, in so many different ways. He gave us the gift of healing in his name via the Apostles, I am left pondering why we can’t heal ourselves of sin?

    Perhaps the hope that sustains me isn’t enough, but I don’t know any other way, than the hope of the eternal resurrection into Jesus’ loving arms promised in Revelation.

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