Moved by the story of a mother who recently told her oldest daughter she was dying of cancer, Dreher grapples with how such profound suffering connects with his Christian faith. Ultimately, he claims, “there really is no satisfactory explanation for why God allows these things to happen”:
And yet. I believe God loves us. I believe He is all-good. I believe he is all-powerful. I cannot logically reconcile these things with the cancer these women have, or that my sister had. If the Christian faith is to mean anything, it has to make sense in some way when confronted by the worst of life. It’s easy to believe in God when things are going great. But your faith means very little if it cannot withstand a mother’s cancer.
I was thinking about this, standing right in front of the image of the crucified Christ … and then I noticed that I was looking at an image of an innocent man, tortured to death, a man who was the same God whose ways I question. A man who could have come down off that cross, but who stayed, because He wanted to share our pain to the end, to drain the dregs of the cup of suffering. So we could live.
I don’t understand this, and I never will. It’s an unfathomable mystery. But I believe it all the same, despite everything. This is hard. But what else is there?
(Photo by David Stone)