I sat in a team meeting Monday morning as we gave updates… One teammate is undergoing chemotherapy and was not feeling well enough to attend. Another teammate had a tumor found on his brain and another needs tests for some heart issues. And yet another with a wife who has been dealing with a chronic illness and it has put stress on him and their house full of children.
A friend at my church had her husband die suddenly. Another dear friend is dealing with a difficult diagnosis of a tumor found on her child and now doctors’ visits and treatment plans. And personally, I have been walking out a marriage ending and the grief and the changes this brings.
I could keep going and going, telling of all the pain and suffering all around me. Deaths, sickness, uncertainty, depression, friendships in turmoil, marriages going through it, struggles with children, job issues, and drama.
Suffering is everywhere.
I told a friend recently, that if it wasn’t for all the dramas in our lives, life would be boring, wouldn’t it? What would we talk about?
Suffering is the makeup of earthly existence and we are all trying to figure out what to do with our suffering. Can I bargain or negotiate my way out of it? Or hide and live a small, SAFE life to avoid it altogether?
I am seeking like so many of us, what do I do with this suffering?
The Son divine, did not escape suffering. He came and suffered. If life showed him no mercy, I should count on nothing less. His path was filled with blood, terror, shame, accusations, betrayal, hurt, torturous sleepless nights, loss, grief, dealing with humans’ shortcomings, conflicts, and facing the ultimate fear… death.
What the spirit of the Christ message reveals is the power we have to face life and everything it might throw at us and be able to stand and say… I’m still here!
Life you may try to take me down, you may hurt me, betray me, sicken my body, come after every part of me, but I’m still here, you cannot take my spirit! My spirit will LIVE. You might torture me and nail me to a wooden beam to hang til my death, but even then, I will stand up again and say, I’m still here!
Death, you have no hold on me. You cannot kill me, you may destroy my body yes, but I will not allow you to take my soul, my vitality, my freedom.
So today, I am looking at suffering in the face and saying, “I’m still here!” Hit me again, “I’m still here”.
And if I am here, and there is breath in my lungs, let me live in such a way that even when death knocks, my spirit, my contributions, and my gifts will keep giving, keep spreading, keep on loving, and keep on living.
If you are still here relish in the now. If you are still here and suffering hasn’t taken you home, celebrate what IS, what IS right here, right now.
If you are still here sing, lay in the sunshine, or grab some friends and laugh until you cry. If you are still here breathe in the fresh sea air, climb a mountain, admire a ruby sunset, or stop and throw ice for hours at Lee Lake.
SEE all the love, wonder, beauty, and people around you, right HERE.
My dears, suffering will always be present, so just hold its hand, grab your bestie, do the Hokey Pokey, turn yourself around, throw your hands in the air and wave them like you don’t care! Cause You’re still here!
From My heart to yours