What You, Jesus, and Nazi Germany All Have In Common
When I was a student, I had the enormous pleasure of meeting Eva Kor, an Auschwitz survivor whose life became the hit Netflix documentary, Forgiving Dr. Mengele. (If you haven’t seen it, you should—it’s amazing.)
When Eva was a young girl, her family was sent to Auschwitz. And, as a twin, Eva endured the infamously atrocious experiments of Dr. Josef Mengele—or, more appropriately named, The Angel of Death.
After years of suffering, the people in Auschwitz were liberated, and Eva was one of the first to break through the gates. Since then, she traveled across the world and restarted her life in Terre Haute—a town nicknamed ‘The Armpit of Indiana’ due to its pungent creosote factories.
There, Eva owns a small Holocaust museum off one of the main roads, filled with mementos from her experiences in Auschwitz. Each year, people from all over the world flock Eva’s museum to listen to and experience her story.
It’s like they’re drawn to her suffering.
I have experienced something similar in my own life—not with Nazis or Auschwitz, thanks be to the good Lord—but with suffering in general.
On a typical day, my loyal readers check out what I have to say (thank you!) But, on the days I honestly share some of my heartache, you beautiful people come out of the woodwork to encourage and support me. When I blogged about losing my baby and my tubal pregnancy, you all buried me in love. When I posted raw photos of my post-partum difficulties, friends and strangers alike reached out with healing encouragement.
It is truly amazing. YOU. YOU are truly amazing.
And, every time, I find myself eternally grateful for the kindness and hope you inject into my life. (Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!)
This kind of response is so infused into our human identity, we even embody it at the biological level. When a physical trauma occurs, our blood—our lifeline—rushes to the wound in an attempt to heal it.
But why does this happen? Why do we go out of our way to rush into someone else’s pain?
Because deep down we know suffering is an injustice—a crime against the soul—and pain, in any degree, was never an intended part of life.
And yet, suffering affects every last one of us, no matter our color, race, gender, or socioeconomic status. No one can escape it. Even God Himself had to suffer as He hung on a cross naked, abandoned, and bloodied.
One look at the news headlines will prove that this world is filled with suffering.
But we were not made to suffer. We were made for joy, for love.We were not made for this world, we were made for heaven.
So what did God do?
He sent His most beloved Son into our pain-infused world. And Jesus willingly left his pain-free home in heaven to come suffer with us.
Similarly, when we dive into the suffering of others, we touch their wounds with a piece of heaven.
Because of Jesus, those who suffer can now be united with Christ the Paschal Lamb, and those who rush to help can relate to Christ the Healer.
We, as a people who were made for heaven, long for God whether we acknowledge it or not. And that is why we cannot stop ourselves from rushing to others and standing against the injustice of sin.
For where there is suffering, there, too, is Christ.
Are you experiencing any suffering at this time? If so, please leave your story in the comments section below. I would love to be there for you with support and encouragement!