Suffering Hearts: In helping us to bear the burden of suffering and it’s impact on our lives, Jesus told His disciples that: “Whatsoever is done to the least of His little ones is done unto Him;” as He indentified Himself with the prisoner in need of a visit, but more often than not despised; the naked and hungry one, dependent on our love and sympathy (Gospel of Matthew – chapter 25). Therefore, and perhaps you would agree, that our God also inhaled the gas and held each prisoner’s hand in their nakedness and shame; that He endured our sister’s pain and her chemo too; and gasped the last breath of our dying son; whilst, in every act that abuses a child, He is violated too in a life that was filled with betrayal. So perhaps I am the one asleep in my forgetfulness that: “Whatsoever is done to the least of His little ones is done unto Him.” Mindful of this and God’s involvement, I’ve come to realize that suffering doesn’t have to be isolated and in its nature can bring us closer to God; that it has a loving purpose, which is best understood when we experience the desire to gladly take upon ourselves the suffering of another in exchange for our composed, and inadequate bedside sympathy. St. Maximilian (pictured in the previous page), a prisoner at Auschwitz, voluntarily gave up his life in order to save a fellow prisoner, as Jesus gave up His life to save every one of us in a supreme act of love. A love which we to can practise in a small way, when we receive with equal contentment from God’s hand, either consolations or suffering, peace or distress, health or illness.
In waking up from the slumber of my forgetfulness I still see suffering as a mystery, but a more acceptable one, especially in light of how much Jesus suffers with and for us, that our pain is His, which the prophet Isaiah understood when he described Him as: “The man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, from whom we did hide and esteemed Him not.” Let us then pause for a moment, close our eyes and enter into the intimacy of our hearts, in the belief that we are God’s precious children and in our times of trial He carries us – if we will let Him be our footprints in the sand (see prayer on previous page). Therefore, I invite you to let me carry a little of your burden, to explore together the deep waters of faith; and if you wish to ask a question, share a problem, or need a prayer, then please do not hesitate to contact me in the confidence that all matters discussed go no further from us than to God.
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“He will carry you”