Talitha said, "Maybe he let it fall because he wanted all the people of Minneapolis to fear him." "Yes, Talitha," I said, "I am sure that is one of the reasons God let the bridge fall."
I sang to her the song I always sing,
Come rest your head and nestle gently
And do not fear the dark of night.
Almighty God keeps watch intently,
And guards your life with all his might.
Doubt not his love, nor power to keep,
He never fails, nor does he sleep.
I said, "You know, Talitha, that is true whether you die in a bridge collapse, or in a car accident, or from cancer, or terrorism, or old age. God always keeps you, even when you die. So you don't need to be afraid, do you." "No," she shook her head. I leaned down and kissed her. "Good night. I love you."
Tonight across the Twin Cities families are wondering if they will ever kiss a loved one good night again. Some will not. I am praying that they will find Jesus Christ to be their Rock and Refuge in these agonizing hours of uncertainty and even loss."
While his apocalyptic and exclusivist views are offensive and wrong-headed, he is absolutely right about God choosing to not intervene. God could have held up that bridge - or cured the cancer or stopped to murderer - but he didn't. And he doesn't.
But we can take comfort that as God-of-All-Things, God is going to make it all right somehow. Somehow this great mess He's left us with (and, yes, we've certainly done our part to ruin) is a great experiment in free will and love and relationship and creation and that somehow, somehow God is going to set all things right.
What does that mean?
It means that despite Piper's comforting words to his daughter, we are in this, as individuals, on our own. There are no protective hedges, no angels' wings covering us, no supernatural intercessions that will rescue us from the terminal disease or the madman or even the sloppy engineer. Certainly God will set it all right, but that is later and for now, we must be prepared to deal with whatever comes on whatever terms we can make in that context. In this sense, Piper is right (though for the wrong reasons): our only legitimate choice is to labor and work in humility and honesty and to seize and love every moment as a precious gift. For that is all we can count on in the here and now.