There is no doubt that Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, is a compassionate person who feels things very deeply. Sadly, however, her decision not to immediately meet the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire has given the opposite impression, and her premiership may well be damaged as a result. George Bush made the same error after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans in 2005, observing the damage from the comfort of Airforce One rather than landing and meeting the people. It too caused lasting damage to his Presidency.
But the cry of ‘Why didn’t you come?’ is not just levelled at politicians, but also at God. Grieving the loss of their brother the Bible records that Mary and Martha both challenge Jesus with the words, “If you had been here…” Similarly, Gideon in the Old Testament observes the devastation of his nation and concludes, “The Lord has abandoned us.”
So we ask the question, but how does God reply? John’s Gospel simply tells us, “The Word [Jesus – the Son of God] became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” As far as God is concerned the truth is this – He is always with us and can always be found in the depths of our most profound sorrow and suffering.