Monday, 5 May 2014

Thoughts from our Chaplain: Where is God in this?

It was Tuesday 29th April and I was reading The Guardian. What stunned me were the contrasting stories of two teenagers.

On the front page and continuing on page 3 the heading is “Boy, 15, held after teacher is killed in classroom”.  On page 6 there is a short article with the heading “Teenager’s cancer fund passes £3m mark”. In order to give our youngsters the rewards they deserve you would have thought the articles should be in reverse order and we should have been told much more about the brave initiative of Stephen Sutton.

Three years ago he was diagnosed with terminally ill bowel cancer. He set up the Teenage Cancer Trust and hoped to raise £10,000. From his hospital bed he told the paper “To celebrate still being here after this crazy week, to celebrate this wonderful journey called life, and to celebrate being part of raising over £3m for the charity, here is a huge thumbs-up from me!”

By now we all know of the tragedy that happened in a Catholic school in Leeds: a beloved teacher of Spanish with forty years of dedication to her job, Anne Maguire, who was due to retire this September, was stabbed in front of the class and died shortly afterwards.

We can all see the Holy Spirit at work in Stephen’s endeavour. Several classmates of the murderer might well have wondered “Where is God in this?” By now we don’t know what made the youngster flip. However, let us hope and pray that something enormously good will come from this event too.

Fr Piet Wijngaard, O.Carm.