Yesterday, I sat with patients in the State Hospital. These are forensic and psychiatric patients. And they know suffering. I heard in their voices Job's complaints. One such voice was female. These are some of the tough questions she asked:
- Why does God allow rapists to get out after only a few years, and those who are here because they were defending themselves stay?
- Why am I being punished for defending myself? I did what God should've been doing. If God were doing his job, I wouldn't be sitting here. Why am I being punished?
- Does God even care?
- Is God all-powerful? That's what I was always taught to believe. So why are there so many bad things happening? Children getting abused. Women getting raped. That's what happened to me. Why doesn't God do something? Maybe he can't. Maybe he isn't all-powerful.
What does a person say to questions like that? Not much because there is not much to say. I am not in the habit of defending God. And I don't brush away these hard questions with a soft broom. Instead, we read together a part of Job and one of the Psalms. And we said these are good questions and hard questions and unanswerable questions. And we said, well, we must have hope. Otherwise, we wouldn't be asking these questions with the hope of getting some kind of an answer. Just like Job, we are.