Stanley Hauerwas on the suffering of children

‘I think childhood suffering bothers us so deeply because we assume that children lack a life story which potentially gives their illness some meaning. In that respect I suspect we often fail to appreciate the richness of their young world as well as their toughness and resilience. But I suspect that what bothers us even more about childhood suffering is that it makes us face our deepest suspicions that all of us lack a life story which would make us capable of responding to illness in a manner that would enable us to go on as individuals, as friends, as parents, and as a community. I suspect that if Christian convictions have any guidance to give us about how we are to understand as well as respond to suffering, it is by helping us discover that our lives are located in God’s narrative – the God who has not abandoned us even when we or someone we care deeply about is ill’. – Stanley Hauerwas, Naming the Silences: God, Medicine, and the Problem of Suffering (London/New York: T&T Clark, 2004), 67.

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