From my experience and the conversations I have had so far, I have found that there are two major categories of people who come to doubt the existence of God.
Although grief is a universal experience, we respond differently to its onslaught, so it's no wonder that words meant to comfort often add more suffering to an already heavy burden.
Slapped, spat in the face, insulted, falsely accused, lashed, ridiculed with a crown of thorns, passed from judge to judge and booed by the crowd, the Son of God chose the most unusual form of defence. Silence.
"If there is anything more heartbreaking than a body perishing for lack of bread, it is a soul which is dying from hunger for the light." (Victor Hugo)
One night, thousands of miles apart, two young women of the same age made a decision—a seemingly trivial one, but one that would seal the fate of one of them.
Lace-edged rumours wafted through the student campus in Sagunto, Spain: Devin, one of the American boys who had come to Spain for a year of study, was dating Teresa, a second-year theology student who was hard to miss. Her striking beauty and cheerful nature attracted gazes like a magnet. No one suspected then, not even the protagonists of this relationship, that their love story would be in the spotlight (and in the prayers) of many people for three years, woven with threads of beauty, hope, and suffering.
"A Time to Forgive" is the story of a pilgrimage through the void of pain and trauma. A father, devastated by the enormity of his loss, struggles to forgive his daughter's killer.
For some people, suffering is temporary. For others, life itself can be a long series of painful blows. However, experience shows that recovery is possible even when people seem to be at the end of their tether.
In cell number 8 of the prison in Pyongyang, a few frozen and emaciated prisoners had to endure an additional torture: the pungent smell and wild screams of an untamed creature.
To nothing else is the name of God so often linked in our human discourse as to suffering and deliverance. This locus is a huge and complicated intersection of our existence.
Roberto Badenas is a Seventh-day Adventist who specialises in Bible studies and is a New Testament teacher, with a theological leadership career that reflects his concern for people.
At 28, the world was hers. Ellie Finch Hulme was engaged to the man of her dreams, and a lifetime of experience lay before her, like an open field in which one could run freely in any direction. Then came the diagnosis.
As a child, I suffered because of the decisions the adults would make. At least, that's what I believed for a long time. It seemed unfair to me to not have veto power in the key moments that defined us as a family, and I was looking forward to the day when I would detach myself from the will of my elders.
"Loneliness irritates me like a broken nail," says a line in a Romanian poem. The truth is, loneliness stings, pulls apart, and resembles the coffee dregs left at the bottom of the pot in which joy and love once brewed. Although the fear of loneliness is natural, we can choose to see solitude as something more than a "flowering wilderness" and embrace it as a gift. This is the atypical message of the writer Elisabeth Elliot, who met the pain of widowhood at an early age, and in terrible circumstances.
On the morning of the 15 November 2016, I awoke in a hospital bed, with no memory of how I got there. My favourite pyjamas had been torn from my body, and I lay in a hospital gown, a piercing pain in my head, impaling my brain. I was barely able to think and incapable of speech. I was scared, though this was no surprise. My new normal comprised of regular hospital visits and multiple near-death experiences. I was trapped in a routine of near-monthly sprints to the emergency room, and days of recovery. Death was a very close neighbour.