We have a family friend with a pretty dramatic life story. We had dinner with his family last night, and while driving quickly to get my daughter home for her hair braiding appointment, my son asked from the back seat, "Mom, why does God make bad things happen?"
For the last however-long amount of months, I've been in the weirdest spiritual space I've experienced in my life. I wasn't sure how to answer him and could have gone many different directions. Partly out of respect for their dad (whose faith is stronger than mine right now) and partly because it was just more comfortable to think in the way I am familiar with, I answered him with something about God not making things happen but that bad things happen due to the selfish choices that humans make on a regular basis. If humans took other people into consideration, fewer bad things would happen. Simplistic, I know, but it was what came to my mind.
He answered, "Well, God shouldn't let us make our own choices because we make really dumb choices."
I then brought up the belief that a lot of people have that God can take any bad situation and bring good out of it, not that he wanted the bad thing to happen but that eventually, all the bad things will have a good thing to result. Or something.
"Okay, Mom, like if a kid misses the ice cream truck, he can eventually get a lollipop."
"Yes, like that I guess."
We got home and an adorable 20-something year old friend came by to braid. We sat on the front porch and while she parted and combed and deep conditioned, she talked about 'sharts' which she edited to 'darts' (doo-doo fart) for the kids. She told a personal story of a dart, before explaining what 'dookie-braids' are (one really fat cornrow in the shape of a turd) and kept calling our cat Bang Bang names like "Oscar" and "Paco" and "Taco" and "boom boom" because she couldn't remember his name. She'd take breaks to dance and beatbox while my daughter would do her own version of 'getting the wiggles out' by spastically dancing and flopping her head around.
While this was going on, my son was experiencing his daily burst of energy post-sundown. Two neighbor kids were over, and the belly laughter was filling the porch and eventually the house once it got too chilly. Today was their last full day of school, and they were up until 11pm. Tomorrow, friends from the South are coming to visit, and life is feeling really full.
It's good, it's all good.