Tag Archives: Suffering

The One Who Saves Us

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Dee Dee Kuruneru pointed to the grayish line permanently imprinted eight feet up the wall of his nearly demolished seaside house.  “That’s how high the water was,” he said.  “It stayed there for ten minutes.”  That extraordinary watermark was the legacy of the tsunami that overwhelmed Dee Dee’s hometown of Galle, a bustling community on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, the… Read more »

The Problem of Pain

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Every week seems to be a heartrending week. If you watch your local news, the First Awful Story is almost always about a murder, a shooting, a child abduction, a housefire, a missing person, or a rape.  Then come the Covid metrics.  The virus at the center of the pandemic has now claimed almost six million lives globally, and 907,500… Read more »

The Surprising Gift of Pain

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Eleven years ago, a 25-year-old Oklahoma resident named Kristi Loyall noticed that her right pinky toe kept going numb.  During a doctor’s visit she was dismayed to learn that she had a rare soft tissue tumor called an epithelioid sarcoma.  Her heart sank when her physician told her that in order to save her life he would have to amputate… Read more »

A Prayer in the Darkness

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When author and pastor Timothy Keller released a new book eight years ago, he could not have foreseen how dramatically he would personally be living out the title:  Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering In June 2020 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Since then his life has revolved around physician consultations, therapeutic strategies, and a great deal of… Read more »

A Grandfather’s Blessing

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Earlier this month the world lost an incomparable storyteller. Walter Wangerin Jr., who had been a professor at Valparaiso University in Indiana since 1991, was the author of more than 30 novels.  He also wrote numerous children’s stories, essays and plays, not to mention scores of sermons from his days as a Lutheran pastor. Wangerin was especially focused on the… Read more »

Signs of Life

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Throughout July we’re taking an in-depth look at Proverbs, the Bible’s one-of-a-kind book about our never-ending need for wisdom. On May 18, 1980, Mt. St. Helens blew its top. In less than 15 minutes one of America’s most beautiful landscapes was dramatically reconfigured. A lateral blast of molten rock, ash, and debris devastated 151,000 acres of forest and recreational areas… Read more »

Good Bad

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“The Lrod is naer to the broknehreated and svaes the crsuehd in siprit.” (Psalm 34:18) If you copy the words above as written, your spell-checker will throw a hissy fit. What’s interesting is that our brains have no problem making sense of them.  Researchers at Cambridge have confirmed that as long as the first letter is first and the last… Read more »

Pain and Hope

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In 1898, a German scientist believed he had discovered the Holy Grail of pain relief. Heinrich Dreser, who worked as a chemist for Bayer – the corporation that had created a remarkable new drug called aspirin – was hoping to synthesize a painkiller that wouldn’t lead to addiction. The world had long known about morphine, the powerful, naturally-occurring opioid.  But… Read more »

The Scream

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Journalist Arthur Lubow called it “an icon of modern art, a Mona Lisa for our time.” If The Scream is representative of the spirit of our age, then we live in a deeply unsettling period of history.     The Norwegian artist Edvard Munch never concealed his insecurities.  His mother died of tuberculosis when he was five.  His favorite sister Sophie… Read more »

The Final Freedom

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Viktor Frankl yearned to make a contribution to humanity. As a respected young psychiatrist in Vienna before World War II, he had meticulously prepared the manuscript for a book that he dared to believe might help change the world.  Since he and his wife were not yet parents, he called it “my mental child.”  Then the Nazis came to power. … Read more »