The question of pain and suffering is one of the most difficult issues to address of any area of human life. At some point in our life journey, we ask, “If God is good, then why does he allow such terrible suffering and pain to exist?”
Despite many attempts throughout the centuries, there are no adequate answers to this question. Evil continues to exist in our world and “all our reflections on providence and evil remain broken and incomplete (Migliore).”
There is also a real danger of merely giving trite or simplistic answers, but the truth is that there are no simple answers. However, we can find some light to guide us in our journey.
Life is not fair!
This poem explains it well …
I went to a party Mum, I remember what you said,
You told me not to drink Mum, so I drank soda instead.
I really felt proud inside Mum, the way you said I would,
I didn’t drink and drive Mum, even though the others said I should.
I know I did the right thing Mum, I know you are always right,
Now the party is finally ending Mum, as everyone is driving out of sight.
As I got into my car Mum, I knew I’d get home in one piece,
Because of the way you raised me, so responsible and sweet.
I started to drive away Mum, but as I pulled out into the road,
The other car didn’t see me Mum, and hit me like a load.
As I laid there on the pavement Mum, I hear police say,
The other guy is drunk Mum, and now I’m the one who will pay.
I’m lying here dying Mum, I wish you’d get here soon,
How can this happen to me Mum, my life just burst like a balloon.
There’s blood all around me Mum, and most of it is mine,
I hear the medics say Mum, I’ll die in a short time.
I just wanted to tell you Mum, I swear I didn’t drink,
It was the others Mum, the others didn’t think.
He was probably at the same party as I, the only difference is he drank and I will die.
Why do people drink Mum, it can ruin your whole life,
I’m feeling sharp pains now, pains just like a knife.
The guy who hit me is walking Mum, and I don’t think its fair,
I am lying here dying and all he could do is stare.
Tell my brother not to cry Mum, tell Daddy to be brave and when I go to heaven Mum, put flowers on my grave.
Someone should have told him Mum, not to drink and drive,
If only they had told him Mum, I would still be alive.
My breath is getting shorter Mum, I’m becoming very scared
Please do not cry for me Mum, when I needed you, you were always there
I have one last question Mum, before I say goodbye,
I didn’t drink and drive, so why am I the one to die?
[Source: Sermon by Lawrence Khong from Singapore]
Life is not fair!
Everyone has said, “It’s just not fair!” True. Injustices abound. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. We live in a world of much pain, suffering and evil. Innocent people often suffer (“suffering” = affliction, trial, testing, distress, pain, injury, loss, misfortune, calamity, evil). Into every life some rain will fall – it rains on the good and the bad.