A friend sent me an article last week about explaining tragedies to children. As framed in the piece he shared, the concern was to help children make sense of earthquakes and floods, car wrecks and cancer, death and divorce. For that matter, how do you make sense of those things to adults?

Terrorism is at work on every continent of the world. There are injustices perpetrated in public view practically every day. The persistent threat of poverty, hunger, disease, and pain can drive one to the brink of despair. So what is God's response to all these things? Doesn't he love us anymore?

In his commencement address, the speaker told of a young woman who was about to give way to despair in the face of life's dark side. She went to a house of worship and prayed:

"Oh, Lord! I don't understand. How can you allow all this injustice, pain, and cruelty — and do nothing?"

Then she heard a tiny voice from somewhere behind her. It said, "God didn't 'do nothing.' He made you."

Perhaps that is God's word to you and me today. He put us here to make a difference in this imperfect and sometimes scary environment. It isn't someone else's problem to address. It's my problem. And yours. God will turn us into his instruments and do something to make things better — if we will cooperate.

If yours is a dog-eat-dog work culture, you can stop your own barking and biting. Others just might follow suit. If not, you have still done what God wanted you to do. You can model a healthier spirit that honors the Lord.

If your family is living under a pall of darkness, sadness, and rancor, you can break the cycle. Don't wait for someone else to change or behave differently. Take the initiative with kindness, gentleness, and pardon. Drain off some of the toxic atmosphere by doing something more helpful than accusing and blaming.

Is he urging you to "do something" today?
If you want a healthier environment, either find a way to initiate it in your present situation or look for a new setting where grace overshadows guilt and forgiveness trumps failures. Souls can't thrive on abuse and trepidation.

In the situations that scare both kids and adults, God can show that he loves us by the way we attend to each other. Is he urging you to "do something" today?

He has shown all you people what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8 TNIV).