In polite conversation, when someone greets you and asks how you are doing, the typical, benign reply is to say you “are doing just fine, thanks.” But today, that reply feels disingenuous at best, considering the global pandemic, the racial reckoning across our nation, and the general polarization in society. Saying we are doing just fine, even when we’re not, lines up with our country’s indefatigable spirit. We are a nation of overcomers and go-getters—people who suck it up and keep moving ahead.
In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson kick off a late summer miniseries called Getting By. Each episode of the series includes a special guest who has something specific to share about how we can get by in life considering the world as it is today. Wendy Alsup joins this conversation to help us reconcile our current historical moment—which is full of loss and fear—with our tendency to sidestep pain and suffering. She is the author of Companions in Suffering: Comfort for Times of Loss and Loneliness (InterVarsity Press), which looks at the very normal occurrence of suffering in this life and offers a fresh perspective on how to walk through it. Counsel like this is so needed in this day, when we want to push away the pain and pretend that everything is fine. Wendy shares lessons she learned in her own suffering, pointing us to the God who chooses to suffer with us. If suffering is common and normal, why do we have such trouble walking through it? How does the prosperity gospel—and the way it’s baked into our country’s culture—exacerbate our inability to suffer well? What does healthy suffering look like in daily life? Conversation touches on our perspective of suffering and how our faith can actually be strengthened when we learn to embrace it with God’s help. Listen in for dialogue on questions like these as we learn how to get by together. Then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.
PERSUASION 197 RESOURCES & LINKS
Companions in Suffering: Comfort for Times of Loss and Loneliness (InterVarsity Press)
Persuasion 104 | Is the Bible Good for Women? with Wendy Alsup
Persuasion 61 | Diffusing Our Fear of Math
Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give the Getting By series a listen:
Persuasion 196 | Just Getting By
Theme music by Maiden Name.