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According to scholars, suffering is an inevitable sad fact in human life. Since Christianity has charged its believers with the obligation of caring for the suffering, care becomes an integral aspect of suffering. Although theologians have not yet explored the mysteries of suffering in human lives, one thing is clear to all the people; care is essential to the suffering. Theologians view care as the frame that supports suffering. While Christians perceive care for the suffering as a God’s delegated responsibility, it is not clear to non-Christians when and who to care for.
From a world’s perspective, people should care for those who experience suffering without their own involvement. Indeed, non-Christians argue that people should not care for those who suffer due to their own carelessness. In this paper, caring comes out as God’s manifestation to his loved ones. Using the biblical and life experiences, the paper will demonstrate how the Christians’ worldview affects this argument. Based on these experiences, the arguments given will reinforce God’s miraculous involvement into the lives of human beings.
God’s manifestation through caring
According to Christian’s worldview, people should care for those who suffer. Who is the suffering? The biblical Job’s story is an example of suffering. According to Job 1.1 “There was a man in the Land of UZ, whose name was Job, and the man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil” (KJV). From this passage, it is apparent that good people suffer. Through suffering, God manifested His power and capability to Job. As presented in the biblical context, Job was under the care of his wife. Given that his wife experienced the suffering he underwent, God’s manifestation went beyond Job. Therefore, by caring for the suffering, God demonstrates to the people that He is the controller of their lives.
As caretakers of the suffering, people experience indirectly what God can do to their lives. Since people might not understand what their future holds, they have to care for the suffering now. Based on the worldview, specific people in the society, such as nurses, should care for the suffering; however, this view is a misconception. As per the Christian’s worldview, God calls all the people to serve the humanity (Shelley & Miller, 1999, p. 56). Through service of care, God manifests His will to the people. In his suffering, Jesus cared for the human soul, which had long suffered. Indeed, Jesus manifested the will of God to the world; that is, salvation. From Job’s story, human beings can achieve fulfillment and true happiness if accorded sufficient care in suffering.
Care provides people with opportunity to express love to the suffering. For instance, during the Haiti’s calamity, nurses and other social workers volunteered to offer shelter and healthcare to the suffering motivated primarily by love. According to first John 4:16, “and when we have known and believed the love given to us, God is love” (NRV). As this text depicts, God is love and through humanity, He expresses this love. It is therefore justifiable that, through the caretakers, God manifests His universal love to a suffering humanity. This perception influences the Christian’s worldview in two ways: First, it influences the Christian’s participation into the mission of God. Through caring for the suffering, Christians become not only part of God’s mission, but also propagators of God’s love to the world (Colson & Pearcy, 1999, p.89).
This perception acts as a motivator to the professional caretakers. Secondly, the argument changes the Christian’s perception over suffering. Caring is an involvement into the mystery of suffering. Therefore, through caring, Christians will be part of the God’ mysteries into the human thriving. In this context, human beings can realize fulfillment and true happiness by performing critical roles in the lives of the suffering. Since love provides satisfaction and strength to the human lives, the social workers in Haiti enjoyed the innermost fulfillment, which defines the true happiness everybody strives to realize.
Through caring, God manifests His physical nature to the world. Although Genesis illustrates the image of God as a loving God, many people perceive it as a historical imagery. The bible articulates that God created ‘man’ in His own likeness and image, an assertion that most scholars struggle to understand (Yancey, 1977, p.32). If human beings represent the image of God, why is it that their acts distantly differ from God’s acts? The two examples of care represented above would informatively disapprove these scholars. In the Job’s story, his wife cared for him throughout his suffering. In Haiti’s calamity, volunteers from all over the world accorded the victims with the relevant support for their survival. In fact, their contribution brought order to the lives of the Haiti people. Where was their God then? These volunteers represented the image of God to the victims. They were indeed a delegation from God. Therefore, by caring for the suffering, caretakers illustrate the image of God, not only in physique but also in actions.
Although Christians view caring as a responsibility from God, they do not clearly comprehend why God calls them to care. Through caretaker’s caring, God manifests, His nature, character, and will to the humanity. It is therefore justifiable that caring is a means for God’s manifestation to the suffering humanity. By performing care-related acts, human beings are not only a delegation from God, but also part of God’s mission of caring for humanity.
Colson, C., & Pearcy, N. (1999). How now shall we live? Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Shelley, J.A., & Miller, A.B. (1999). Called to care. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press.
Yancey, P. (1977). Where is God when it hurts? Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.