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What I don't know about suffering

Someone asked me the other day how I justify the work that I do with my spiritual beliefs.  She wanted to know how I work with trauma, how I see trauma, how I experience human suffering and still love God.

"Why would God allow all of this suffering?"

That's the question of the ages.

There is so much that I don't know or understand about God and about human suffering.  But I'm okay with, "I don't know."  The only thing that I DO know is that I have witnessed God suffering with me and with others.  Many Christian authors and theologians have called God the One who suffers with.  Jesus was the one who wept with the people around him.  He cried and anguished over their suffering.  He healed them.  And then He was tortured and suffered excruciating pain.

In 2003, I lost a son to stillbirth.  I have never felt such anguish in my spirit.  I suffered physically (24 hours of labor and complications after), I suffered emotionally, I suffered mentally, I suffered socially. I can't fully describe what it was like to endure such pain.  But I also know that in the time that followed after, I have never felt God as close to me as in those moments.  I felt his tears on my cheek.  I felt that heaven was just on the other side of a sheer veil and that if I moved my hand, I might be able to brush it aside and step into the presence of God.  Like I said, it's hard to describe.

I have witnessed clients tearing at their clothes, sobbing, wailing.  Other women that have lost children.  Children that have lost parents.  Loneliness so deep that there is no reprieve.  The depths of human loss.

Last week, I attended the funeral of a twelve-year-old boy.  At the visiting line, his mother hugged me and squeezed my hand saying, "God works in mysterious ways."  Her words made me sad.  Was this God's work?  Yet, I knew that she was comforting herself from the place of unknowing.  There is no knowing God's ways.

For now, I experience a God that sits in the depths and weeps alongside his children.  He has strengthened me to do his work of suffering with in this little ministry called psychotherapy.
Some day, but not today, I'll ask why.


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