There is no hope for us if our only hope in the face of suffering is that ‘we can learn from it,’ or that we can use what we learn from the treatment of that suffering to overcome eventually what has caused it (e.g., many children in the future will be helped by what we have learned by using experimental drugs on children like Carol), or that we can use suffering to organize our energies to mount effective protests against oppression. Rather, our only hope lies in whether we can place alongside the story of the pointless suffering of a child like Carol a story of suffering that helps us know we are not thereby abandoned. This, I think, is to get the question of ‘theodicy’ right. (34)
Hauerwas, I think too, gets this question exactly right.