Dressed in a military vest, a heavily-armed young man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on 14 December 2012 and opened fire,
shattering the quiet of this southern New England town, leaving the nation reeling at the number of young lives lost.
Within minutes, 26 people were dead: 20 children and six adults.
Earlier this year, stunned Norwegians attempted to come to terms with the most pernicious manifestation of evil since World War 2.
Anders Behring Breivik took a public ferry to Utoya Island, galvanised political elite campers and,
GOD UNDERSTANDS OUR SUFFERING for some 90 minutes, coolly and methodically shot 92 young people, hunting down those who fled.
Both these incidents display the random and arbitrary nature of suffering.
GOD UNDERSTANDS OUR SUFFERING It has no favourites, leaving its victims baffled at its voracity.
Whether it is financial difficulty, a loveless marriage, loneliness, bereavement, unemployment,
homelessness or poverty, suffering can be overwhelming, and the strategies adopted to address it limited.
Calling for just prayer can sometimes be an excuse for burying heads in the sand,
whilst developing a theology of suffering without neglecting the discipline of prayer can prove helpful for suffering persons.
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