Chihuahua, Mexico—how else is Heaven supposed to respond to the tragic mayhem of life on this planet today? Look—if Jesus wept over the grave of Lazarus and subsequently wept over the city of Jerusalem—if tears choked his desperate cry on the cross that Friday afternoon—wouldn’t He be weeping now?
Weeping for the greedy, revenge-driven drug cartel members who in a turf battle hail of bullets cut down that band of Mormons on their way to a wedding earlier this week? Weeping for the three brave mothers and six children who perished in that withering onslaught, one slain mother able to first save her infant by throwing her to the floor of the SUV? Weeping for the courageous surviving children who hid in tall roadside grass until one of the older boys could walk thirteen miles for help?
The muffled sound of a heartbroken God weeping—our calloused hearts forget too easily, too quickly the sobbings of our Sovereign, don’t they? How could any human mind remain sane if we like He lived with every crushing headline, every devastating death, every split second of every day and night on this terrestrial home?
Jesus once taught us about our Father: “‘I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. . . . Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. . . . Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. . . . You are worth more than many sparrows’” (Matthew 10:16, 28-31).
If not a single sparrow falls to the ground without the Father of all life personally noting that tiny death, how much more does His eternal heart grieve the deaths of His earth children?
“Not a sigh is breathed, not a pain felt, not a grief pierces the soul, but the throb vibrates to the Father’s heart. . . . God is bending from His throne to hear the cry of the oppressed. . . . Satan’s hatred against God leads him to hate every object of the Saviour’s care. He seeks to mar the handiwork of God, and he delights in destroying even the dumb creatures. It is only through God’s protecting care that the birds are preserved to gladden us with their songs of joy. But He does not forget even the sparrows. ‘Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows’” (Desire of Ages 356).
So live on we must, in spite of headlines like this week. Yes, we pray for the bereaved and bereft: “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” (Matthew 20:30). And for the evil perpetrators, we pray the prayer of the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
But let us also pray in response to His plea for someone, anyone to go to the rest of His children with the hope of Jesus: “Here am I. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
Otherwise, Heaven weeps alone. And that would be the saddest story of all.