Hauerwas has had the most influence on my thinking in the last year. I was trying to remember where I first ran into his writings. Well, this is it, a quote from his God, Medicine and Suffering:
There is no hope for us if our only hope in the face of suffering is that we can “learn from it,” or that we can use what we learn from the treatment of that suffering to overcome eventually what has caused it … or that we can use suffering to organize our energies to mount effective protests against oppression. Rather, our only hope lies in whether we can place alongside the story of the pointless suffering of a child a story of suffering that helps us know we are not thereby abandoned. This, I think, is to get the question of “theodicy” right. (34)
Amen. Thankfully, in Easter we have passed through just such a story.