The city of of Manchester is reeling. Broken. Bleeding. Hurting. Weeping. Grieving.
Asking why. Why us? Why our children? And amongst the brutality, death and devastation, where - if anywhere - is God?
At times like this, when everything we know is taken from us and when we have nowhere left to turn, we desperately cling to what little hope we can find around us.
God is there amongst the tears. He is in the eyes of those who carried battered bodies out of the arena. He is in the hands of those offering help and support to those grieving and lost. He is in the whispers of hope uttered by faith leaders, poets, church leaders, support teams and community groups.
He is with those who have lost loved ones, who have had a part of themselves wrenched away in an unspeakable act of violence. He is with those trying to to piece together the fragments of their shattered lives, with young children who were looking forward to a night of entertainment and were instead thrown into a night of unimaginable pain they will never be able to forget.
God is in the midst of the pain and suffering, not trying to explain it away but to simply be present with those who are going through the darkest night of their soul, offering them a glimmer of light at the end of what seems like an eternal tunnel of raw pain.
There are far more questions than answers. The pain will not recede overnight. It does not disappear because of a few kind words.
But there is hope. Hope seen in the moving display of unity from the city of Manchester and around the world. Hope in those outstretched hands offering support and a shoulder to weep on.
Hope that all the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.