The Gentle Side to Suffering


I’ve been thinking about Redemptive Suffering for a very long time. I can certainly explain it in light of the Cross, no problem there. How sad manto explain it to a non-Christian is a bit of a challenge. This morning it hit me. I warn you; be patient here. This is a seminal thought that came to me while meditating today. We’ll see where the Spirit leads.

Poor health has been my normal state of affairs for over five-years. I can’t say whether the chicken or the egg came first. It just seems that as the body gets weaker, the temptation to give up intensifies. At the same time, as we struggle to stay in the fight, the body weakens. There we have it, the proverbial chicken and egg thing. The only thing that helps get one from this hour to the next is faith, a belief that God has a plan.

Having said this, I have begun to meditate a lot on this idea. “God has a plan.” I’m not really meditating on the plan itself, because I don’t know the whole of it. I’m meditating on the fact that He has one. But today something hit me like a bolt of lightning. Maybe this is part of God’s plan for me or for all of us who struggle with suffering of some kind. Looking back on the past five-years of struggling with poor health all the way around, I have noticed that people are very kind. Everyone from fellow Franciscans to strangers in a doctor’s office has been very kind to me. It dawned on me that I’m more open to the kindness of others. I appreciate it. I’m not embarrassed to accept it or even ask for it. It doesn’t make me feel weaker than others. On the contrary, it makes me feel special, because God loves me in a special way. Suffering can be medicinal in some very surprising ways. There may be areas in our lives that need more healing than a cancer.

Published in: on June 12, 2014 at 9:34 AM  Leave a Comment  

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