Unmighty God

Since the dawn of humanity, we have troubled over the fact that our lives are blighted by suffering and death. For those who believe in a loving God, this reality can be hard to explain, and all religions have attempted to deal with this dilemma. How do you reconcile an all-powerful, all-loving God with earthquakes, cancer, and the reality of sin and death?



“We believe in God, the Father Almighty”:

So begin the words of the Christian Creed.

But those outside the Church might ask us:

What sort of God lets His children bleed?

How can we speak of a God who is loving,

As millions starve through want and greed?

Many decent folk reject Jesus’ teaching,

And as for religion, they pay scant heed.


We who believe badly need to be honest;

Here’s a problem that needs addressed:

If we claim a deity who’s all powerful,

Why does He do nothing for the oppressed?

With all the pain, suffering and injustice,

Why does He never respond to our behest?

We see no miracles or interventions,

Just who the hell is really on test?


The crux of the matter – an all powerful God,

Who claims to be the perfection of love;

Yet we see misery and suffering all round,

And – let’s face it – precious little from above.

Where is His hand when a child is dying?

Or the innocent shot down in cold blood?

Just what has God or His fan club to say?

We need answers when push comes to shove.


Picture in your mind’s eye the following scene:

A hospital room, a child lying ill in bed,

At the bedside, the child’s father kneeling,

Eyes red raw from all the tears he’s shed.

This good man can do nothing for his child,

Except to wait for someone else instead:

A nurse, a doctor, anyone who can help.

Imagine what’s going on in his head.


In this scene the child stands for us all,

And the agonised and powerless parent?

Why, God of course…

Who in reality is completely… impotent.

More a case of unmighty God then?

A statement seemingly irreverent?

Out of step with traditional teaching?

But the truth, even if not that evident.


God is love, yet complete in Himself.

Mystery? Or just plain contradictory?

Yes, if He was one person, but see:

Our God is a community, a Trinity.

Beyond all time, Father, Son and Spirit:

Perfect togetherness for all eternity,

Mutual warmth and absolute wholeness;

The very epitome of the loving family.


Then why bother with any creation?

Why dice with a feckless humanity?

We give Him nothing at all that He lacks;

Hardly a message to please our vanity.

When God conceived the cosmic drama,

He felt the lash of sin and depravity;

He knew the cost the choice would entail;

But still embraced His future agony.


This truth founds the core of the Good News:

If God doesn’t need us – no, not at all,

And we only exist because of His grace,

We’re born of love, held and blest withal!

Do you hear O man? This, your birthright:

You are royal, both single and communal,

And before and greater than Original Sin,

Original Blessing, God’s seal of approval.


And because His love will never collude,

We are framed in full freedom of will;

Free to choose good, but often as not,

Falling short: Evil one and Good nil.

Robots and lackeys are not His scene,

Mechanical obedience proffers no thrill.

When the gun is held to the innocent head,

God can do nothing to stop such a kill.


Such prodigious love brings a huge price:

The pupils aren’t free if their teacher stays;

God’s hands are tied behind His back,

And not even God can have it both ways.

The price of our dignity is unmighty God,

Courting the risk that His absence dismays;

No evidence of His step leads many to scoff;

And so it will be to the end of our days.


The very presence of sin and suffering,

Should serve as confirmation and test,

Of a God who is true to His nature,

And will never settle for second best.

His love is given without any strings,

And nothing and no one can ever divest

Our status as beloved and adopted,

With salvation and heaven imprest.


But make no mistake on this point:

The unmighty and shackled deity,

Looks beyond all time to that day,

When His power and splendour shine free.

On that day, all mankind and all creation,

Will gaze on that terrible majesty,

Seeing themselves in love’s true light,

Gladly and reverently bend the knee.


Till then ponder that image in your mind:

A hospital room, a child lying ill in bed,

At the bedside, the child’s father kneeling,

Eyes red raw from all the tears he’s shed.

This good man can do nothing for his child,

Except to wait for someone else instead:

You and I are called to be that person;

Without us, God might as well be dead.