And still the final word we Christians can offer is one we must offer: God is not absent. He is present in the world of human suffering, and He Himself suffered too. Here I quote the English minister Edward Shillito, after seeing the carnage of World War I:
If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow,
We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.
The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.