In 1992 Los Angeles was overwhelmed by riots following the beating of Rodney King by local police. In the middle of the riots, many innocent people were caught up in the anger and frustration from an event that seems to have no boundaries. There were stories within stories within stories.
In the months that followed, many, myself included, reflected on the events and the roles individuals played.
As I led a reflective discussion a question lingered. Where was God as innocent people were dragged out of their cars and beaten by others overwhelmed by evil? After different answers were proposed and discarded, a friend provided an answer that has stayed with me since.
Where was God during the LA riots of ’92? “God was there, crying, hoping someone would be Divinity’s voice, hands, and feet.”
In the context of that answer, stories emerged of individuals who singularly defied the mobs and helped. Humans helped others in need. Humans stepped up to defend the defenseless.
As I rode back in from work, the traffic jam was an obvious alert. As I got to the accident, a Ducati lay on his side with its rider a short distance away sitting up, looking bewildered. As I shouted the obvious question, “are you ok?” three others ahead of me stopped at his side. I could see his mouth form a “yes” and he gave me a quick thumbs-up. It was amazing to see how quickly God was on the scene.
David left us with a reminder; God “has never let you down, never looked the other way when you were being kicked around. He has never wandered off to do his own thing; he has been right there, listening.” (Psalm 22.24) Even as I read his words I recall God’s statement of where he calls home – a place within you and me. It was amazing to see God on the scene with the Ducati. It is good to know that Divinity lives within. In times of trouble, we can cry with God. We can also act with God in us.