One must never forget that God is not a man. His ways and his thoughts transcend human understanding. Words of comfort and encouragement resonate with the declaration "God works in mysterious ways". But, God's "mysterious ways" tend to frustrate the human intellect at times. Never more-so than in times of tragedy. Especially tragedy that befalls the innocent at the hands of the wicked.
The city of Cleveland was rocked by the revelations of what took place on Imperial Avenue. Anthony Sowell, a.k.a "The Cleveland Strangler", proved to be a modern day "Michael Meyers", allegedly. Many ask the question, "Why did God let this happen"? Believers often struggle to find answers that comfort. However, questions of how and why may be the more welcomed inquiries. Often what tragedy exposes sets precedent, brings about change, and awareness; one can find the good.
The greater challenge faced by many a Christian is a question of God's forgiveness. No doubt, loved ones, neighbors, and friends of the eleven victims have already concluded hell as Mr. Sowell's eternal resting place. Member's of the Body of Christ, however, understand that there is atonement available even for Mr. Sowell. A secular view can not imagine anyone less deserving of forgiveness.
The truth of the matter is this; heinous is not a degree of sin. It is a measure of how distorted a human being's conscience is, and a measure of how disturbing a particular act of evil is. In God's eyes Anthony Sowell is simply a sinner. But, just to be clear, all unrighteousness is sin and all have sinned. Still, while man wallowed in his sinfulness Christ died for him. The best that God has, being offered to the worst of humanity. How's that for 'mysterious' way?
Grace is described as unmerited favor - unearned. It is the fullness of God's goodness and loved expressed at no cost. This grace encompasses God's love, mercy and forgiveness. Since it is unmerited, this grace is available to a disgraced human being like Anthony Sowell.
All humanity was disgraced because of sin; but, where sin abounded grace did much more abound. This grace extends to the thief, child molester, rapist and murderer. The grace of God that brings salvation has been put on display for all mankind. What truly makes it grace is its intended recipients - the disgraced.