We need not feel compelled to defendnGod when we suffer, because wenhave never been promised by Him thatnwe shall not. The god who needsndefending is the omniscient, omnipresent,nomnipotent, omnibenevolent postulantnof the Enlightenment, who is notnallowed to be God if “meaningless”nsuffering takes place, and who must benreplaced by technology when this godnfails. But the God of the Bible is muchnmore than this; the God of the Bible isnthe God who calls us into a communitynof believers that asks not why we suffer,nbut that forms our ability to respond tonpain, suffering, and pointless death.nThis church is a community that, rathernthan rail at suffering, is actually formednby suffering and the expectation ofnredemption and resurrection.nHauerwas uses the example of thenimprecatory psalms to bring home thencrucial point of this provocative andninformative book:nThe psalms of lament do notnsimply reflect our experience;nthey are meant to form ournexperience of despair. They arenmeant to name the silences thatnour suffering has created. Theynbring us into communion withnGod and one another,ncommunion that makes itnpossible to acknowledge ournpain and suffering, to rage thatnwe see no point to it, and yetnour very acknowledgment ofnthat fact makes us a peoplencapable of living faithfully. Wenare able to do so because wenknow that the God who hasnmade our life possible is not anGod merely of goodness andnpower, but the life, cross, andnresurrection of Jesus ofnNazareth. The God who callsnus to service through worship isnnot a God who insures that ournlives will not be disturbed;nindeed, if we are faithful, wenhad better expect to experiencena great deal of unrest. This maynnot be the God we want, but atnleast it is a God whose veryncomplexity is so fascinating thatnour attention is captivated bynthe wonder of the life that Godnhas given us—a life thatnincludes pain and suffering thatnseem to have no point. <^nThe Futurenfor Leonard Nathannby Richard MoorenMusic of the classical tradition,nyou say, assumes relationshipsnin time, and that is why my Rockndaughter will have none of it.nRock with its endless repetitionsndenies all temporal succession:nall moments exactly like all othernmoments, so nothing happens, nothingnbecomes. And once the future’s gone,nit’s meaningless, hence impossible,nto have a past. And there goes history.nBut is, as you say, “a possible futurenespecially hard to assume these days?”nI know. The bombs. But haven’t there alwaysnbeen people, heavy, loud, marching,nbearing news of the world’s end?nSo many ways always for the earth’sndelicate balance to be tipped,nspiritually, chemically, accordingnas how the imagination tips.nWho’s ever sure there’ll be a future —nor that we shall be free of ours?nWe are as Hector on the walls of Troynwith Andromache and always have been.nOnly the Crystal Palace and allnthose nineteenth-century trust fundsnever assured us otherwise.n”Why are you always in the first rush,nthe first blood?” she asks angrily, sadly.n”Because my heart can tell,” he says,n”the City must soon fall, burn,nour son, being royal, killed, and younsold, a slave, and I wish to be longndead, so that I will not see these things.”nHe puts on his horsehair-plumednhelmet and reaches to embracenhis son; but the child does not seenhis father in the shining plumed creaturenand shrinks into the friendly foldsnhis mother wears. Andromachenand Hector see why he’s frightened, and therenon the wall of doomed Troy, they laugh.nnnOCTOBER 1991/33n