And then there is the Taliban itself, which said it was God's will, required by the Quran, for this teenage girl to die. If she survived, said a spokesman after the assault, they would try again to kill her.
Since then, a number of things have happened. Malala's school has been renamed in her honor. The United Nations instituted a worldwide day, also in her honor, and has launched a campaign for girls' education. Pakistanis, perhaps previously cowed by the terrorist bullying of religious fanatics, have risen in mass protest, finding courage in numbers. Malala has been asking for her schoolbooks so that she can study. On a message board of CNN.com, a reader suggests she ought to get the Nobel Peace Prize, and the idea does not seem at all far-fetched.
Oh, yes, and there is a million-dollar bounty on the head of the Pakistani Taliban spokesman.
Take it all as a stark reminder that too often, people who speak glibly of the will of God really describe no will higher than their own. They presume to interpret God like tarot cards or the stock market, forgetting that God is sovereign and does not need their help.
So I will yield not to temptation. Unlike the Taliban, I will not presume to tell you what God's will was. But in light of Malala's miracle, it seems pretty clear what God's will was not.
TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES