Does God Understand Our Suffering?

Imagine all humanity had a committee meeting to establish what God would have to go through to truly understand human suffering. The poor would say he should be homeless, frequently hungry, and constantly moving from place to place. Bereaved people would say he should lose a parent and perhaps a close friend as well. Holocaust victims might insist he be Jewish; those who lived in occupied territories, that he should live his entire life in subjection to a brutal empire. Outcasts would insist he face a major social stigma: accusations of illegitimacy or drunkenness or demon-possession. The abused might demand he face physical violence, ritual humiliation, abandonment, and betrayal by those closest to him, and yet with the perpetrators never punished. I don’t know what you would throw in–never having children, being murdered in his prime, or perhaps facing extended torture and slow death. Maybe those who had felt the silence of heaven, like Job, would add that to the list, to form the most profound and wide-ranging suffering imaginable. Then and only then, humanity might say, could God be regarded as being able to understand our suffering. Only if God had lived through the worst this life had to offer and been perfect throughout could we say he had provided Suffering’s Answer.

Sound like anyone we know?

Andrew Wilson, GodStoriesp. 112.

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