Suffering

Last evening at the Contemplation and Collage Workshops, I struggled to listen to the stories of suffering by those in the group.  However, it was my role to listen.  We all like to be heard.  I do not like suffering or hearing about it but I choose to walk this path to share my sisters’ burdens and to help them break their silence visually with the spiritual practice of collage.

It is a fearsome thing to be asked “Why does a good God allow suffering?”  I have found clues in the writings of others.  I offer these words of Henri Nouwen from his book “Reaching Out”:

Often it is the dark forest that makes us speak of the open field…

prison makes us think about freedom…

war gives us words for peace…

our visions of the future [are] born out of the sufferings of the present…

our hope for others out of our own despair…

Someone’s careful and honest articulation of the ambiguities, uncertainties and painful conditions of life gives us hope.

The paradox is indeed that new life is born out of the pains of the old.

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