If God is good and powerful, why does suffering exist in the world? Why doesn’t he just solve all the brokenness in the world? If God loves us and hears our prayers and agony, why doesn’t he answer our prayers? If God is our Father, why does he allow his children to experience hardships? What does the Bible say about the intimate relationship between God and human suffering? Does God care about our pain? Does God suffer and understand our brokenness? What is the meaning of the suffering and passion of Christ? How should Christians think of suffering, incorporate it into our church fellowship and community, and participate in the distress of individuals, societies, and the world?
To answer those questions, still wrestling with making sense of the dilemma of suffering, I seek to research the theology of suffering and begin a Ph. D. in Divinity at the University of Aberdeen in September 2016. My research interest in the doctrine of the suffering of God and the intimate relationship between God and the brokenness of the world is constituted in my experience of living with a physical disability, along with hope, faith, and disappointment in God. Explaining the subject matter of suffering is extremely challenging and complicated, and we may never truly grasp the depth and meaning of brokenness. However, with humility and love, JD Kim Ministries attempt to approach and expound the matter biblically and theologically through reflection, experience, research, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
If we can share, we can bear. If we can share our brokenness and our stories, we can bear the pain together as human beings made in His image. It begins with a sharing and continuous sharings. Even though we may have different types of suffering, when we suffer, it hurts. Actually and always, it sucks! We often lack a secure and sacred space where we can just share our hardships. Being called as church means that we have a glorious and deeply penetrating fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit and with fellow believers who are other parts of His body. We are commissioned to share our lives—joy, shame, vulnerabilities, wound, gift, and tears—and to bear our struggle with one another and with Jesus Christ who suffered and was brokenness for our brokenness.
JD Kim Ministries seek to accomplish this mission through two ways. First, I share my stories, woven into the divine history of the greatest history Maker, to welcome all people into His fellowship and encourage believers to endure suffering with Christ and His church. Second, I provide a safe place on the website on the “Connect” section for anyone to share his or her stories so that we can bear our brokenness together. I ask for your honest, authentic, and respectful comments.
We must re-formulate the image of disability, especially in Christian communities. In our society, disability is never a friendly term that encourages people to talk about it, nor an attractive presence that captivates the interests and attention of others. It became a reason to be shameful, avoided, and discriminated against. Unfortunately, according to Joni and Friends, a Christian disability ministry, about 54 million people in the U.S. have disabilities that is 1 in 5 Americans, and 80% of them are not attending church. Less than 10-15% of our churches have a disability ministry or outreach. Should this be the way Christians treat people with disabilities and people who are different?
Therefore, we need a new paradigm for disability, for it is just another representation of human nature and another evidence of the weakness of human beings, not a stigma, a curse, or an abnormality. This is why disability ministry is so vital in executing our Christian mission. Regardless of disability, all human beings “deserve” to be loved, nothing less, for God created all people in His image and likeness, and we all have been commissioned to love others as Jesus loved us. On my blog, I will write on this subject, praying that God’s people may realize the importance of re-imaging disability and welcome disability into our churches and fellowships with an extraordinary welcome.