The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Be kind

Nobody knows the troubles I've seen. Nobody knows but Jesus.

We're halfway through our meditations on theodicy: Why do human beings suffer and die in a world created by a just and loving God? These past months, I've sometimes felt lost in a dark tunnel with no apparent exit. But I keep on walking, humming that popular old song Que Sera, Sera ("What will be, will be") and hoping that God honors the searcher as one already found. A quite Lutheran position.

Someone said recently, "Be kind, everyone you meet has a problem." I wonder if seekers unable to explain theodicy ought to stop thinking and begin doing. As Christians our responsibility may be to subdue our woes by taking upon ourselves the woes of others.

God equipped us well for the task. One of humanity's most splendid gifts is empathy, the ability to share the inner life of others. Our imaginations are at their highest when we are empathetic.

For a while let's stop trying to figure out why and live, as best we can, for.

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