Monday, March 13, 2017

Silence in the midst of pain

This morning during my time with God, I was reading about Simon of Cyrene. The man who carried  the cross for Jesus when the Lord could carry it no more! The title of the meditation was 'The weight of suffering'  (Take a closer look by Bryan McAnally)

The questions at the end of the chapter got me thinking on how I handled suffering. It gave me a reason to think about what I had learned in suffering. When I think about a time when I felt a heavy weight on me, the first thought that comes to mind is when I lost my mother-in-law.
Some of the things I felt was the shaking of my faith. I wondered why I felt so distant from God. I did all that was possible physically to get out of this mode. I took over all the chores of the house and over-killed myself at work, as a mother and as a wife. I realized that this was not the solution. 'Doing' things was not helping. Some of my sufferings has made me realize how imperfect I am.
Unless you fall and go into the deep pits of agony, you cannot empathize with those around you. I also learned not to 'holify' my situation.
I remember when my mother in law passed away a lot of people quoted bible verses, gave encouragement through verses and promises. And while I had to smile and listen to those, in my heart was a retching feeling. It felt like someone had cut an important organ in my body and had tried to replace it with holiness. My body just could not function. I had to watch my husband silently mourn the loss of his mother and listen to people talk about what a wonderful woman of God she was and all that she had done. In his heart of suffering, all he wanted was one more moment with his mother.

While I do believe the bible verses heal and speak to some, I am the kind who needs silence. Quoting verses may soothe pain. But presence, prayer, understanding and silence can soothe pain too. I learned this as part of my little cross that I dragged along.

Simon of cyrene was not going to be crucified. He knew they would not kill him. But he had to share in the suffering of Christ. He has to carry the cross to Golgotha.  Simon silently (maybe a little reluctantly) took up this responsibility. Was he quoting the old testament promises to Jesus? Was he reassuring Jesus that all would be well and we would all be happy in heaven. No! He just walked along silently.
I wonder what he felt as he lay the cross down on the hill. He had brought with him the instrument that was going to bring pain and death to another human. He could not even be a hero and rescue this man! What a hopeless situation!
In our utter state of hopelessness, Christ revives our faith. When we just want to give up, we reach Golgotha and it feels like we can breath again. Not by our strength ... But by HIS!

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