Still Suffering

Michael McAlister Blog Leave a Comment

Blogger Andrew Sullivan offers this post from James Wood’s review of Bart D. Ehrman’s God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question—Why We Suffer:

Heaven, one of the tenderest verses in the Bible has it, is where God will wipe away all tears from our faces. In her novel “Gilead,” Marilynne Robinson adds, in a line just as tender, if a little sterner, “It takes nothing from the loveliness of the verse to say that is exactly what will be required.” Robinson, herself a devout Protestant, means that the immense surge of human suffering in the world will need, and deserves, a great deal of heavenly love and repair; it is as close as her novel comes to righteous complaint. But one could also say, more skeptically, that Christianity needs the concept of Heaven simply to make sense of all the world’s suffering—that, theologically speaking, Heaven is “exactly what will be required.”

Again, we see the tendency for us to want to find “meaning” and to make “sense” of that which is beyond mind. Invariably this is what gets us into trouble: we attach to anything we think will prevent suffering, when attachment is at the root of suffering.

Surrendering to what is, on the other hand, and then participating from that space of openness changes everything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *