Lent, Week 4: a pep talk about suffering

Yesterday was a gift of a day.

It was one of those days when I sat with clients and thought:  this is why.  

This is why that happened to me.  

For this person, right here in front of me, right now.

If I hadn't been through that, I could never have sat in this chair with this person in front of me and been the person I am able to be right now.

Thank God, thank God, thank God.

Because it's a gift to sit with someone and say, "It's normal to be this sad."

It's a gift to sit with someone and say, "Of course you feel this bad."

It's a gift to sit with someone and say, "Something important is being born through this pain.  Bear down into it.  Breathe.  I'm staying right here with you while you do this work."

It's a gift to me, to see the harvest, just like the promise says:

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11

And I think that's a good reminder to all of us, at this point in this Lenten study.  We still have three more "words" to go through:  "I thirst," "Into your hands," and "It is finished."

This series has been rich for me, but honestly?  NOT EASY!  Not fun!  Of course easy and fun weren't the point of it.  

Being with Jesus at the foot of the Cross is the point of it.

And I really have to put myself there on purpose and let myself feel how it feels there.

I was reading Father Richard Rohr's meditation for today, and he says:

A third time, as Jesus and the disciples were heading for Jerusalem, Jesus again explained how he will suffer, die, and rise (Mark 10:33-34).  Yet how did the disciples respond?  James and John asked if they could sit in glory at his side while he established the messianic kingdom (Mark 10:35-37).  You can almost hear the sigh and sadness in the depths of Jesus' heart when he heard their request.  He turned to them and said:  "You do not know what you are asking.  Can you drink the cup I will drink, or be immersed in the same bath that I will be immersed in?"  (Mark 10:38)

I think the disciples are just such people!  Jesus tells them something really difficult, and they deflect.  And I think we do the same thing.  When we get into difficult territory, we start looking for a way out.

Maybe I'm just pep-talking myself here, but over the next few weeks I want to stick with this thing.  I want to keep remembering that there's a harvest of righteousness and peace coming.  

Instead of deflecting away the hard things, even the most difficult feelings--like forsaken--I want to stay and trust the Love.

Thanks for being here with me.

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