I was up until late last night, until tomorrow became today, grappling with these questions of evil and suffering and how to make sense of them with one of our grown children. It was not my first attempt to justify or make sense of such questions born out of the daily suffering we witness, experience and create; the suffering that violently oppresses our world supposedly created by a good God who is love.
Some of us ignore or avoid the question(s). At the least, we do not wrestle with them for long. We feel a thump or a bump like hitting a squirrel in the street who made an unfortunate error in judgment and ran under our wheels. Bummer. Poor squirrel. We grimace for a moment (maybe) and then keep moving down the road. Got to get to work or coffee or whatever, but the squirrel is going nowhere from this point forward. Just displaced plasma and a bent tail on the cold asphalt. So it is with our response to suffering. At least to the suffering of others. A momentary interruption in our day; an unexpected incident, unfortunate for the victim, but not too troubling for us, at least not in the long-term or on any level that stops us in our tracks and forces us into an unwanted wrestling match with the question.
I know. It’s one of the BIG questions we humans on this side of death have been confronted with since the beginning. It’s not a topic that is quickly discussed or a problem that is easily solved. It’s not a little mess like spilled milk on the floor that we wipe up with a paper towel. But I thought I’d share mine and my grown child’s late-night, gut-twisting, heart-ripping, mind-bending little conversation. I’m not done with this post. That squirrel is not going to die in vain.