The sad songs are often the sweetest. The richest joys are often the ones seasoned with the saline of our tears. There is something about the human condition which makes pain and sorrow inevitable. Tears are the grace and mercy of the loving God, who himself became a man acquainted with sorrow, who poured out his own tears before his Father in heaven, and who sings for joy over his creation. These are the truths we must front before we can go further.
This post is not going to be anything like a Christian theodicy. For one thing, to write about theodicy is to take a living existential reality and pin it dead and lifeless to a board. For another, the discussion of theodicy is often engaged within technical philosophical boundaries, which are derived from convictions Christians cannot share (e.g., the framing of the question within dialectical oppositions, resulting in a “god of the philosophers” as distinct from the Trinitarian God of Christianity). What it will be, however, is a very simple contemplation about the transfiguration of suffering, and the role of thanksgiving in that transfiguration.