I am firmly convinced that knowing God in suffering is mutually inclusive. I have this conviction that it is not only in joy that we know God, but we can also know God through suffering. Knowing God in suffering is undisputed in a religious context. On July 27, 2012 in Baseco, I asked some questions to a mother and to a single blessed person in the Holy Name of Jesus, an apostolate area in Baseco, whereby I, with my two companions, Patrick and Tommy, were assigned. And so the questions go this way: Despite the suffering you are experiencing in this shanty, do you still believe in the generosity of God? Can you still manage to know God? At my great surprise, they both answered, “Yes”; despite the miserable situations and sufferings that they encounter day after day, they could still manage to believe in God and to know God! Prior to asking them, I thought that I would hear a litany of complains to God on those curious questions from me. After hearing their answers, I was humbled.
From this experience, I realized that knowing God in suffering is mutually inclusive. For me it is undeniable to affirm by the fact that it I am going through suffering, the portrait of God is becoming more explicit, the loving presence of God is becoming evidently and the immanence of God is becoming more real in our lives. Barrowing the words from Lieble in the film God on Trial, maybe, as we are experiencing suffering in our lives, God is also suffering with us. Maybe! As from the two interviewees whom I had in Baseco, on the misery and despair in their lives, God is probably in misery and in despair too. Maybe that’s why it was easy for them to affirm that they do still believe in God despite living in the midst of miseries. I can say that they are the good examples of sons of God because they recognize God in suffering, which is mutually inclusive in experience and they lived it. Those experiences of theirs sufficed and affirmed the reality of God in suffering. I must admit that I envy them. I have a firm conviction on the mutual inclusivity of God in suffering, but applying it in my daily experiences, it seems that it is not yet fully realized. Yes, I admit that I experience sufferings often times, but my immediate reaction is to complain rather than pausing for a while. I didn’t realize that it is by means of it that I get to reflect whether the suffering is an opportunity for me to see the loving presence of God and if it’s at work in me.
I am so thankful that I was given an opportunity to hear those answers from my companions. Those answers touched my heart and intensified my firm conviction that knowing God in suffering is mutually inclusive. It is really undeniable that suffering is inevitable. Everyday, we cannot but encounter sufferings in whatever means. Some endures it, while others escape from it. But there’s one thing I learned from suffering, that suffering is wisdom in itself. We suffer for the sake of a greater Good, i.e. to know God and to be embodied by God. Actually, I’ve got this question in my mind. Why God allows suffering in the Human Person? Upon reflecting, I found an answer. God allows suffering in the Human Person in order for the him to feel and to know His loving presence and also to understand that despite the fact that a Human Person doesn’t understand, God is united with him in his sufferings. Maybe for others’ perspective it could be an obscure assumption. But, for me I would affirm it because I experienced it so I firmly believe in it. How about you?