The Damage We Would Do To Each Other If We Had "The Explanation"

Imagine, if you will, that the Bible gave us an explanation for why there is so much pain and suffering in the world.

Imagine that the Bible gave us "The Explanation" in a specific text, something we could easily quote and share.

Imagine the Bible gave us the theodicy we all want, The Explanation we've all been asking for.

Then imagine how The Explanation would be used.

Imagine the thousands of sermons sharing The Explanation. The books devoted to The Explanation. Imagine how the Bible verse giving us The Explanation would be printed on t-shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers and home decor, just like we do with every other inspirational Bible verse.

But mostly imagine how we'd use The Explanation with each other in the face of pain.

Why did the Holocaust occur? Well, because The Explanation.

Why did my child die from cancer? Well, because The Explanation.

Why is there sex trafficking? Well, because The Explanation.

Wherever suffering is found we'd share The Explanation. We'd share The Explanation so often it would become automatic. Cliche, even.

And when you think about it, about what it would be like to have The Explanation, you're struck with just how much damage and violence we'd do to each other with The Explanation.

Everytime we encountered a victim or a suffering, hurting person, we'd throw The Explanation at them.

So it seems to me that the most loving thing God could do for us, in the face of suffering, is to refuse to give us The Explanation. Even if we cried out in the darkness for the Explanation. Because without The Explanation we're forced into silence and solidarity. Which is exactly where we need to be.

So maybe that is why we'll never have The Explanation.

We can't be trusted with it.

If we had it, we'd hurt each other.

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