Love doesn’t just think about the suffering of others – it feels it

by Craig on December 9, 2010

I’ve been reading tons of blogs today and it’s not the happy happy Go – Christmas blogs that have my attention.

But the ones written by people who are hurting.

Maybe I’ve changed.

Maybe God has changed me.

But I have to admit, in the past, I’d have skipped them and gone right on to the fa-la-la.

In the reading I was moved. I was moved to tears. The heartache that’s out there. The sadness, the struggles, the pain,

the despair

the depression

the mourning

the distress

the discouragement

I could go on and on…

It all crashed in on me and I felt it.

I really felt it.

I was overwhelmed. So much blue in the Christmas. It’s just all around. Everybody struggles – nobody tells. My little problems? Nothing compared to the ocean of them out there. They are suffered through by people far better than myself. Far more faithful. Far more deserving. And some far less too. Suffering isn’t reserved only for the faithful I guess.

There was this Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode.

I know, please hang with me, there’s a point.

I think she was attacked by a demon (the Buffy kind not the real kind) and she began hearing the thoughts of others. At first it was nice. The guy who she liked. Then some of the mean girls in the hallway.  But then there were too many thoughts. They kept multiplying – and the thoughts were dark – and overwhelming. And she heard one about ending all the suffering – with a rifle – from the school bell tower. The short version – she saved the day. But what remains through the Buffy storyline is what I felt today.

Love doesn’t just think about the suffering of others – it feels it .

In this world of people with blinders on – mine has been one of the bigger sets. And this isn’t about children in Africa – although that has touched me today too.

Looking back, it started with a Christmas Change post.  After reading it I prayed to feel more – and so,  to be led to do more. Did I get an answer to prayer? So quickly? So unexpectedly? The timing is interesting. God answers prayers always in the right way – and hardly ever in the way we think he’s going to. Regardless of where this came from, it arrived with intensity.

The unmarried pregnant teenager – heartbreaking.

The people with deep depression who can’t climb the slippery walls  and find a way out.

The ones who’ve lost loved ones – again and again.

The moms who love their kids but can’t deal because of post partum depression – which is real! It destroys the moms, who try as they might can’t beat it.  Then add guilt on top of the depression – on top of the hopelessness. Excruciating.

The dads who can’t make the money they used to. For a man – that’s the thing – being able to provide. It’s moms too – but take it from a man – this one cuts deep for men. How hard that must be – day and night – unrelenting.

The parents with sick children – months in hospitals – tubes, and tests, and needles, and sorrow, and not being able to help. All they can do is sit there and see the pain in the eyes of their child. How do they do it?

I kept reading story after story and I felt. each. one.

Did Jesus feel this? Multiplied by billions? Did Our Lord hang on the cross, and feel the pain of every person he died for? Did it smash his heart into a billion times a million pieces? I’m so sorry, God, if it did. If it does.

So now the thing is to do something. Not everything. Can’t do everything. But do something. So I did. It’s been way too much of me – not enough of Him. There’s nothing special in the action. It’s not special. Helping isn’t special. It’s what love does.

 

Tomorrow this may pass. Tomorrow my own stuff might be felt. But for this whole day it was everyone else’s stuff. That’s a good thing. But it’s heavy thing. I hope if  tomorrow is a more regular day, I remember.

I’d ask you to share this particular love with me, like I usually do. And first, let me acknowledge that there are many of you who do this love every single day. But if any of you are like me – blinders and all – to really empathize and feel deeply can be heartrending.

If there is something little we can do today for someone who may be struggling  – with stuff they will never share with anyone, we have to do it. It’s Christmastime. I’ll be doing it. I promise.

People hurt in heightened ways at Christmas.

And they keep silent about it.

We don’t want their dams to burst.

If you are hurting this Christmastime, know that I will be praying for you every day between now and then. I promise. I don’t know what the hurt is, but I feel it, and God knows it, so I’ll pray.

This day reached to my core.

That is all.

In God’s love

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon December 9, 2010 at 8:25 am

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you… we like to be comforted and encouraged don’t we? and aren’t we His vessels through which He works down here on this wad of dirt?
:-) good post.

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Craig December 9, 2010 at 9:27 am

Sharon.

all agreement – big amen. we are his vessels.

Merry Christmas

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Anonymuss December 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Craig, yes, and there is a deep satisfaction or joy that comes from actively identifying (helping, empathizing with, truly listening to, etc.) with those in hardship-in the many ways that this can be done. There is so much pain and suffering out there. Those broken Christmas ornaments really symbolize this well.

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Craig December 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm

A. to live this way all the time – have a heart filled with that much empathy – I know many who do this – I want to be more like them. God Bless

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I am His beloved December 9, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Not sure what came first the chicken or the egg but it seems as if our minds and hearts are stayed on the same thought and passion.
Sometimes feeling others pain is more then I can even handle…it is then I put them in the safe arms of Jesus.

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Craig December 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm

I was thinking the exact same thing as I was reading your post. Thanks Julie.

God Bless

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Marie December 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Brother,
This is the first time I come to your site…Just wanted to thank you for this post. It touched me…really, deeply…thank you for reminding me how much God cares and how much other people can care too…Somehow it’s comforting to know we’re not alone.
Blessings,
Marie.

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Craig December 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm

ma soeur

Je vous remercie beaucoup pour visiter. J’ai visité votre site et visiterai encore. Que vous avez dit êtes très gentil. S’il vous plaît retourner. Je plains mon écriture de français c’est mauvais. Je suis très heureux que vous avez visité.

J’ai regardé seulement quelques dessins. Pour lire du français est dur pour moi. Mon préféré est Sarah.

Joyeux Noël Marie

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Marie December 15, 2010 at 10:42 am

Dear brother,
It was so kind of you to visit my website! I appreciate it very much…
I can see that you are inspired by God in your writing…
Blessings,
Marie.
ps. Je trouve que ton français n’est pas si mauvais que cela, bien au contraire! Je suis bien heureuse que tu as apprécié mes dessins :-)
Que Dieu te bénisse (God bless!)

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Craig December 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm

To those of us who are rusty with our French, I said basically “thank you and Merry Christmas” to Marie :) Merci et Joyeux Noël to you all.

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Debbie December 10, 2010 at 12:15 am

Praying with you for all the hurting, for all whose Christmas is not that merry. God indeed put someone on my heart today. They don’t know me and I don’t want to upset them more, but . . .I will send them a card and ask Him to help me know what to say. Their little boy died last year about this time. Before Christmas. The whole town put up lights early so he could see them one last time. It continues to make me cry.
Thanks Craig, for being like Jesus in this way.

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Craig December 10, 2010 at 12:19 am

Oh Deb. And good of you to think of them. Words fail. But just the fact that you remember a year later will help them. And I’m not nearly enough like Our Lord in any way. But thanks.

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