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January 21 , 2008

Who Hears the Cries of the Innocent?


For about four thousand years people have recorded their attempts to understand human suffering. Some of their thoughts are found in the ancient story of Job and in its counterparts in Sumer, Babylon, and Egypt. This subject is always with us as can be seen in Harold S. Kushner’s, When Bad Things Happen to Good People and in Archibald MacLeish’s, J.B. Since 11 September 2001, the problem of suffering has been thrust upon us once more. It is not just a question of why the innocent suffer or why the not-so-innocent prosper; it has to do with coming to terms with the lack of justice in our world (Job 19:7b, “There is no justice.”). The ancient story of Job is not helpful in our situation, but a later Job poem, which was covered up by the old story can give us creative help as we face an uncertain future. Our task is to uncover the later Job poem.

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