Who’s Responsible?

My friend Lenny was rehearsing at ‘The Seagull’ in an upstairs studio. At the end of the evening, coming down the stairs in the dark, he tripped. He, together with all that he was carrying, clattered down the stairs. Fortunately all that was damaged was Lenny’s pride and dignity.

The incident came to the Seagull Directors. Was this a health and safety issue? Should there be signs saying ‘Switch on the light if it’s dark’ or ‘Stairs are a safety risk’.

Who’s responsible? Lenny’s clear. It’s him!

There was a serious road traffic accident close to where we live. An elderly gent had a ‘medical incident’ as he was driving and drove into two other cars. He later tragically died in hospital.

I recently discovered that I know the driver of one of the other vehicles. Adam was driving for work; although not physically injured he’s been suffering with mental ill-health since then. Adam’s not yet returned to work.

Who’s responsible? Less clear…

Options usually include…

  • Personal choice: individuals make decisions… American shootings, political decisions, noisy neighbours, Lenny… It’s easier when there’s someone to blame!
  • Random events: Stuff just happens – the cancer diagnosis, lottery win, storm damage… It’s harder when there’s no-one to blame
  • God: God influences what happens… Folk across the faith spectrum speak of a God – personally active pursuing good or a neutral background force…
  • The Devil: Those who talk of a good God may also talk of a force of evil…


Over many years I’ve heard sermons preached on ‘Who’s responsible?’; I’ve enjoyed entertaining discussions with people of faith and those definitely without it…

When I was young I thought I knew the clear and straightforward answers; as I get older they becomes more complex and less obvious… The less I understand the more I ask ‘How do I respond?’ rather than ‘Who’s responsible?’  

Returning again to trust my personal loving God… remembering… ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.’

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