Isaiah 53: 4-5
4 Surely he has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed.
A common theme in fiction and in life is that suffering and persecution is rarely justified. Here the book of Isaiah is believed to be talking about the messiah, Jesus, and the suffering he would endure not because of what he’d done but because of who he would be and who humans always are.
This leads me to think about one of my favourite books The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. In it we are introduced to a small boy whose existence has caused awkward social and political situations. As a result he will grow up scarred by the repercussions of this: in some cases restricted to cold or hesitant relationships and in others hatred or mistreatment by those who should love him.
Although of course the boy is not meant to be a Jesus figure, like many stories we are able to empathise with the humanity of a character who suffers unfairly but finds a way to live with it and even to become better and stronger for it.
God of the persecuted
Save us from the deep and lasting harm others might try to inflict on us.
Help us to be stronger and better people despite any suffering that comes our way.
Teach us to see when we might be the one doing harm.