The Shadow Effect book cover
Photo: Courtesy of HarperOne
In a world so filled with tender magic—from sleeping infants to children playing, to lovers smiling, to friendships that last, to flowers blooming, to the violet hope of sunrise, to the fiery magnificence of sunset, to the brilliance of the body, to the fragile glories of nature, to the wonder of animals, to our capacity to forgive, to the mercy of God, to the kindness of strangers, and a list that could go on and on until it's clear that there really is no end to the manifold expressions of love on earth—there is, as well, something else.

And what is that?

Why—in a world where we can be moved to tears by a work of art—does there also exist molestation, rape, innocents with slit throats, unjustly held prisoners, starving children, torture, genocide, war, slavery, and all manner of horrific and unnecessary suffering that exists for no other reason than that someone is cruel enough to inflict it or someone else doesn't care enough to stop it? What force exists, in our minds and in our world, that proactively and seemingly inexorably moves to cause the suffering and destruction of living things?

Why, if God is love, does evil exist?