In my quieter moments in my safe place (home) or my mother’s magnificent garden, I can reflect on the evil and towering rage that consumes my mind – aggrieved, hurt and unable to connect with the divine. Perhaps this is how the relatives of the families, including children, lost in an unnecessary inferno at Grenfell Tower, feel. Bereft, beyond grief, blind, white rage that, if allowed to take root, will destroy them from the inside like a cancer.
And then added to the people, eighty known to the authorities, who lost their lives in Grenfell Tower, there is the multitude at silent prayer in Finsbury Park in the very early morning. ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD’ (Isaiah 55:8).
These are the words God speaks as he watches the Moslems praying by the side of the man mown down outside a mosque in London. God sits on his hands and weeps.
A man filled with hatred saw another man in difficulty and mounted the pavement in a cowardly copycat attack. This attack underlines the fact that terrorists are not Muslim, any more than they are Christian or atheists. Their mantra is to destroy and they know nothing of a God who invites us to wonder at the splendour of his universe which embodies his glory.
God speaks through the splendour of nature but also through the peaceful co-existence of many races living humble yet devout lives in Grenfell Tower and many other high-rise blocks across the land. People content to live in Britain silently accepting the drop in status, wages and class that migration from the developing world normally entails.
God’s glory shines a light into darkness and he chooses to spend his time with the poor and the oppressed, not with government or politicians. Perhaps we should do likewise. After all, we are his hands and feet.
And it’s the ordinary acts of kindness that touched the hearts of the bereaved, momentary solace in the abyss for many but also, I hope, the courage to carry on.