During this time of hardship, temptations are many; we can lose hope and slip into despair, we can become selfish and view others as competitors for limited resources, we can numb the pain with secret sins and self-medicating, we can look for easy answers by shaming and blaming, but none of this will make it or us better. The rest of N.T. Wright’s quote, I feel, holds the answer, “It is no part of the Christian vocation, then, to be able to explain what’s happening and why. In fact, it is part of the Christian vocation not to be able to explain – and to lament instead. As the spirit laments within us, so we become, even in our self-isolation, small shrines where the presence and healing love of God can dwell.”
If this is the case, in times of suffering, the Christian response should also be one of charity. In addition to looking inward, we should look outside of ourselves and ask who around us is hurting and how can we help and support them? There are always opportunities, and where we don’t immediately see them, let’s ask God to show them to us and listen for the voice of His Holy Spirit.
God may not always give us answers, but in every trial we face, He promises to be with us. So, let’s lean into this season, see those around us, and know that God is here, He is working, and He will bring beauty from ashes. We may be experiencing the dark night of the soul today, but the resurrection is coming; we have the hope of Easter at the end of Lent.