Taking the Suffering Seriously :: How It Exposes Injustice

Moonlight mystique.

I’ve been wondering if all suffering exposes injustice at its root. 

Would it be called suffering if the pain was merited? 

Like, if someone did something deserving of consequence, would the pain of their consequence still be called suffering?

I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this. 

In any case, a great deal of suffering exposes us to the reality of injustice. 

I think often about the Holocaust these days, as I’ve shared elsewhere — a whole race of people persecuted and herded off to they-knew-not-where to encounter they-knew-not-what, simply because they were Jewish.

What sense is there in that? 

On Tuesday, while driving home from a conference in Nashville, we drove through Alabama — straight through Birmingham and Montgomery, where several pivotal events in the Civil Rights Movement took place. I couldn’t help but hold my breath at the holiness of those places as we drove through them, my heart continuing to be pierced by the suffering of our African-American brothers and sisters, simply for the color of their skin. 

It makes no sense to me.

And then there are the unjust sufferings closer to home.

Kirsten, for instance, shared in a comment last week these words about her response upon learning her son had a heart defect: “I knew people who had smoked and drank throughout their pregnancies and ended up with perfectly healthy babies. And here I was, having taken such good care of myself, and I was the one with a desperately sick child. It’s not fair. I did everything right.”

How has your own suffering exposed injustice?