Lenten Meditations: Good Friday
God is on Our Side
“Between the sufferer and the one who causes the suffering, between the victim and the executioner, God, whatever people make of this word, is on the side of the sufferer. God is on the side of the victim . . .” —Dorothee Soelle
Pain, loss, and death are fundamental realities of the human condition. Live long enough, and we will know the experience of being both victims and perpetrators of human suffering. Even Jesus, the Anointed One of God, would not escape sorrow and the “weariness of the long dying.” At our lowest, we may wonder with Jesus in the depths of despair and defeat on the cross whether God has forsaken us. Unlike the gospel truth of the resurrection that gives us hope in despair, there is no guarantee that we will survive deep struggle or overcome our deepest pain. What is it that keeps us going when the way forward is unknown? Perhaps God is nearer to us in those moments than we dare imagine. Our spiritual forebears testify to God’s fidelity, solidarity, and mutuality with God’s good creation. It is comforting to consider that perhaps God is right there with us, suffering and crying out in pain, experiencing the depths of the worst of the human condition, and hoping that the cup of suffering will soon pass. Whatever pain, suffering, and heartache we endure, God has not abandoned us and always remains on our side.
When I am poured out like water and suffering encircles me, Great Presence, do not be far away and come quickly to my aid.