“The tears of God are the meaning of history”

God is love. That is why he suffers. To love our suffering, sinful world is to suffer. God so suffered for the world that he gave up his only Son to suffering. The one who does not see God’s suffering does not see his love. God is suffering love.

So suffering is down at the center of things, deep down where the meaning is. Suffering is the meaning of our world. For Love is the meaning. And Love suffers. The tears of God are the meaning of history.

But mystery remains. Why isn’t Love-without-suffering the meaning of things? Why is suffering-Love the meaning? Why does God endure his suffering? Why does he not at once relieve his agony by relieving ours?

Nicholas Wolterstorff

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1 Response to “The tears of God are the meaning of history”

  1. Karen says:

    Christ is risen!

    Father, your “Paschal Homily” for Aaron remains one of the most moving I have ever read. It makes me cry. All I can say is “Amen and amen!”

    It occurs to me that the (Pastor Rick) Warren family likely understands very well what you and your family have gone through and continue to go through, since it sounds like they have recently had to endure the same thing in the midst of the public eye as well. I don’t know what families do who do not have the great hope that being able to pray for our loved ones who have passed into the presence of Christ brings. We also just learned that some dear Evangelical friends lost their oldest son, at 17, to cancer a little over a week ago, so the message of Christ’s Pascha is especially meaningful for me this year. . . . “With Himself He has raised all the dead!” is a line from the Paschal hymn to the Virgin that I cannot sing without choking up, such joy does it evoke!

    Regarding the mystery of our suffering in this life (and particularly in view of how God redeems it), I have always been both pained and profoundly comforted by these verses (from 1 Peter 4:1-2):

    “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.”

    May the sure hope of the Resurrection keep you and all whom you love in His grace and peace!


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