The man upstairs likes sending mixed messages.
Martin’s father Tracy replied, “We must worship a different God. There is no way that my God wanted George Zimmerman to murder my teenage son.”
Oh dear. Let me start by saying that I can understand why Martin is perplexed. One would hope that a god who’s supposed to be loving and merciful would not plan for an unarmed teenager to be killed while walking home with Skittles and iced tea.
But, just to play devil’s–or God’s?–advocate, perhaps Zimmerman makes sense. Maybe his god really did want him to shoot Trayvon. Maybe he was praying for an answer during that rainy night in Sanford, Florida, and that’s the answer “God” gave him.
My big, obvious problem with this debate is that, well, who can really know what God wants? To get really technical, I could point to the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22: 1-19), which may indicate that God likes the killing of teenage sons. But of course, modern-day Christians would insist I’d taken that passage out of context. All that, however, is beside the point.
Knowing what God wants has been an issue for millennia, and maybe if He could send better signals, his followers wouldn’t be split into approximately 38,000 different denominations. Maybe he wouldn’t forbid and order killing simultaneously. If God’s desires were clear to everyone, perhaps Trayvon Martin would still be alive.
Or, maybe a horrible thing happened that night as the result of human, not divine, will. Maybe there was no grand plan to kill nor save young Trayvon. Maybe what “god” wants is only what we want at the moment. Maybe it’s just an unfortunate fact of the universe that bad things happen, and maybe none of those things are part of a greater plan.
And maybe there’s no man upstairs, either.