The genius of Jesus’ ministry is that he reveals how God uses tragedy, suffering, pain, betrayal, and death itself (all of which are normally inevitable), not to punish us but, in fact, to bring us to God and to our True Self, which are frequently discovered simultaneously. There are no dead ends in this spiritual life. Nothing is above or beyond redemption. Everything can be used for transformation.
After all, on the cross, God took the worst thing, the “killing of God,” and made it into the best thing—the redemption of the world! If we gaze upon the mystery of the cross long enough, our dualistic mind breaks down, and we see in hindsight that nothing was totally good or totally bad. We realize that God uses the bad for good, and that many people who call themselves good (like those who crucified Jesus) may not be so good. And many who seem totally bad (like Jesus’ crucifiers) end up being used for very good purposes indeed.
The first step toward healing is truthfully acknowledging evil, while trusting the inherent goodness of reality.
Knowing and naming brokenness is essential in the journey toward wholeness. We will not be well by denying the wrongs that we carry within us as nations and religions and communities. Nor will we be well by downplaying them or projecting them onto others. The path to wholeness will take us not around such awareness but through it, confronting the depths of our brokenness. . . . As Hildegard of Bingen [1098–1179] says, we need two wings with which to fly. One is the “knowledge of good,” and the other is the “knowledge of evil.”  If we lack one or the other, we will be like an eagle with only one wing. We will fall to the ground instead of rising to the heights of unitary vision. . . .
.. In July 1942, the same month that the Nazis began their first big street roundups of Jews in Amsterdam, Etty Hillesum wrote in her diary, “I am with the hungry, with the ill-treated and the dying, every day, but I am also with the jasmine and with that piece of sky beyond my window; . . . It is a question of living life from minute to minute and taking suffering into the bargain. And it is certainly no small bargain these days.”  Etty was looking at suffering straight in the face. Her friends, her family, and she herself were under the sentence of extermination. It was now beginning to be carried out. And yet Etty held within herself the “handsome mixture” of pain at the plight of her people, and of what one people can do to another people, along with a continued delight in the gift of life and its ineffable wonder. “I have looked our destruction, our miserable end, which has already begun in so many small ways in our daily life, straight in the eye . . .” she writes, “and my love of life has not been diminished.”  To look life straight in the eye, to see its pain and to see its beauty—this is an essential part of glimpsing the way forward.