“In examining life, we find that suffering has exercised a great influence on us. Suffering has given us a certain seriousness and depth. From suffering we draw fundamental lessons about the world in which we are called to live and about ourselves and the meaning of our lives. Suffering is indeed a laceration, a division of self against self, a conflict and even a rupture of our inner person. We suffer but do not want to suffer and hence we experience disunity within. “ Louise Hagemen
“Victor Frankl states that when we suffer, there is a tension between “what is” and “what ought to be.” So long as the tension prevails we suffer. This suffering warns us that all is not as it should be. Louis Hagemen
And because we live in a fallen world, there is much that is not “as it should be.” For each of us this path is different. Some of us are deadening ourselves to our own suffering or to the suffering of those around us.
I would like to dwell on the statement above by Victor Frankl with the tension created in suffering comparing “what is” and “what ought to be.” When we as believers open our eyes to the suffering of others around us, we have blinders removed and then see with new eyes. So often the situations we see become difficult and cause us emotional suffering from seeing “what ought not to be.” Visiting an orphanage is an example of this tension. When I visit our sons’ orphanage and see children who should be with families, some who actually should be in their Haitian families, some who should be home with their adoptive families by no. The tension of this is what often propels us to action. It propels us to get off our self-centered high horse and do something that matters for those who Jesus identified with.
For me, the waiting in the adoption process has been a suffering, an injuring to my soul. A desire for “what is” to become “what ought to be” A longing for our sons to be home, when they are not. A longing to feed them their favorite Haitian dish, “diri”, a longing to have all of our children become a family, a longing for the end to this three year wait. I wish I could say each day I have waited well, and suffered well. But, I have not. I have found Jesus always there though. He is always faithful. He is always true. He is always and forever on the throne. He came and was born as a refugee, born in a land not his own. He came poor. He came in a way the people did not expect. I expect Jesus is often coming to us in ways we do not expect.
This past week we were told to expect an email for the end process of bringing our sons home. So much that we were planning travel dates with the orphanage and actually had flights booked for leaving Thanksgiving day. We waited Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with no word. I was an emotional wreck. I had been so excited and so happy that the day had finally come, only to have our hopes dashed and now be back in a place where we don’t know what is happening. We don’t know if the delay is because they will issue a RFE or just a general delay. I have found great peace in knowing that I am supposed to feel suffering. The lack of feeling suffering would mean I have not love. The lack of empathy for those hurting around us should be a sign, a sign of truly not loving.
Christ has called us to two commands that have abolished all others:
- To love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength
- To love others as yourself
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support,
Love and Blessings,