In this episode we welcome back author Sarabeth Caplin whose work has appeared in Sojourners, Huffington Post, Lilith Magazine, The Sun Magazine, and Christians for Biblical Equality, among other places. Sarabeth is back to talk about her new book, “Spinning Crap into Fertilizer: How American Christianity has Forgotten the Necessity of Suffering.” This episode finds us talking about suffering in both the ordinary and extraordinary sense. (To skip past our michigas start at the 12:02 mark.)
A bit on her latest book: When it comes to suffering, there are two kinds of people in this world…those who say, “Crap happens,” and those who cry out, “Why is this crap happening to me?” “Turn that crap into fertilizer” was Sarahbeth Caplin’s father’s twist on the expression, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” That line became a running joke between the two of them during his final months of life, as he rapidly deteriorated from cancer. David Caplin’s death prompted Beth to re-evaluate everything she thought she knew about why we suffer, if God cares, and why He seems to intervene for some people who pray for healing – but not for everyone. At some point, it occurred to Beth how many Christians seem to pray to be spared from pain, when perhaps it would be beneficial to also pray for the tools with which to face it. Drawing inspiration from her Jewish heritage, Beth explores the ways in which unexplained pain, disappointments, and losses can be used for redemptive purposes…if we are willing to entertain the possibility.