Wow. I went to church this morning to a new Sunday service; one I had never been to before. I was enjoying the music, although from a selection standpoint, there could have been a couple more uplifting or happier songs. Just my opinion..and maybe I was being VERY judgmental and not giving it a full chance.
You see, at my home church -the one I have attended since 1977, the pastor, whom I adore and can honestly say is one of the few truly Christian men I have had the honor to know, well, he retired. This left a gaping hole for many of us. As churches follow business practices, there was of course a selection committee for an INTERIM pastor. So once he arrived, I went to check it out. He just briefly said “hi” as he moved on past me to other people he seemed to know better. I missed my pastor. He baptized me. Then he baptized me and my children…then my nieces and nephews. He married my sister to her husband. He married me to MY LATE HUSBAND. He BURIED my mother and was there for her to the end. He conducted the memorial service for MY LATE HUSBAND. He married my brother to HIS wife. Needless to say, this man has been a HUGE part of our lives and I feel so lost without him. I am crying now about it. I guess I have to grieve the loss of him as my spiritual guide.
So part of this morning’s message was about how through suffering, we get closer to God and being Christ-like. In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I have MAJOR ISSUES with suffering. I guess it’s because I witnessed it so closely and it became the basis of my PTSD. First, I watched the love of my life suffer until he died. Then, it was my mother gasping and gurgling her last breaths. It is really challenging for me to believe in a God that would want that for anyone. Like I said in yesterday’s blog, my Higher Power loves unconditionally and accepts unconditionally. He/She/It does not expect us to suffer as humans in a messed up world in order for us to be close to Him.
Another case in point: my best friend’s 7 month old granddaughter has a tumor and it is malignant and wrapped around her little baby organs. She may also require bone marrow transplant. Jesus said: Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. [Matt 19:14][Luke 18:16]
Why should a little baby suffer???
If human suffering is thought of as some kind of bonus pass into Heaven, well then I guess I will get there eventually, but so will a lot of people.
What is the purpose of suffering? To teach us that we ARE human beings who are frail and fucked up and to purify our souls; to teach us character and perseverance. My brain will accept that but my heart says “why does it have to be this way?” I would love to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this. Please comment or use Testimonial link.
Peace, love and blessings to all….