Recently at Harvest Church in Irvine, CA, I heard renowned author, writer, and Christian apologist, Dinesh D’Souza speak about suffering.
The guy is smart. This guy is faithful. This guy is prolific. He’s authored numerous New York Times best-sellers, regularly debates the world’s leading atheist thinkers, is a former research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institute, and is currently the President of King’s College in New York City. Finding out Dinesh D’Souza is filling the pulpit at your local church is like hearing Derek Jeter’s playing short-stop your softball team. It’s not happening very often, and it’s definitely raising the bar.
He spoke for an hour, and his speech was packed with fascinating stories, poignant answers to atheist arguments, and huge words I couldn’t define – not to mention powerful arguments for God’s design – from the trees in Eden to current scientific information on plate tectonics. All this, compiled by one of the world’s leading thinkers, to offer a God centered explanation for suffering.
And it was a good one. But after all that, it was one phrase spoken in the final moments of his presentation that has stuck with me.
“Suffering is the currency of love.”
To help explain what he meant by this, Dr. D’Souza spoke of the death of a distant cousin who lived in another country. While death is always tragic, his distant cousin’s death would not cause him much suffering. However, if his mother, wife, or daughter were tragically taken – he would suffer greatly. Why? Not because death is different, but because the depth of his love was different. For those close to him – those he loves dearly – the suffering would be exponentially worse. And that suffering, is the currency of love. The extent of his suffering is directly related to the depth of his love.
When all was said and done, it is in that statement that Dinesh D’Souza struck the good in Good Friday. The statement, “suffering is the currency of love”, helps us measure the greatness of God’s love displayed with the pain of that cross.
No man has known the depth of suffering of Jesus on Calvary. And no man has given the depth of love He poured out to us through Calvary. Sure, other men died on a Roman cross. But no other man did so with the full weight of every sin of every man who will ever live. No other man could.
And it is in that suffering – suffering the pain caused by every human wrong for the fullness of time – that we see the greatest love the world has ever known. There is little doubt that Jesus suffered. Extremely. Deeply. Abundantly. So there is little doubt that Jesus loves. Extremely. Deeply. Abundantly.