Fellowship of SufferingNew Every Morning | April 18, 2023
My twin sister, Marilyn, a pastoral counselor, called the moment after my text appeared on her phone. I heard heartache in her voice, tighter than usual, when she told me I’m entering “the fellowship of suffering.” This is the crazy, upside-down idea that through suffering we identify with the suffering of others and can be there to comfort one another as God comforts us. Not a club I’d choose to join but a circle of intimacy with those who understand the struggle.
—Jan Woodard, Texting Through Cancer: Ordinary Moments of Community, Love, and Healing (Upper Room Books, 2021)
How has suffering enabled you to experience God’s comfort and to comfort others who suffer? Join the conversation.
For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ.
—2 Corinthians 1:5 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
God of All,
In you I trust.
All will be well.
All will be well.
All will be well. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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Christ suffered beyond my comprehension. But in the same way that we cannot know the true sense of joy without experiencing sorrow and hardship, I have experienced pain so I can identify when I see pain in others. We can never truly understand anothers pain but we understand what it is to have pain.
So good to hear from Lou and Rick after long absences. Glad both are doing well. Very cold and even snowy here.
I have said it quite often here – the connection made at the cancer support group. It is infectious and wildly encouraging. To be welcomed by fellow sufferers, to share a platform and to be so encouraged to find God AND His blessings in trying circumstances – what gifts I am so blessed to have received.
Not sure to what level the local news here spread to the national level – but my school was closed today, following the grand jury decision regarding a young black man who was shot and killed last summer. Shortly before school was let out Monday, we were told classes and all activities were cancelled for today. The shooting took place about a mile from my house. There have been protests and a few arrests, but luckily no rioting. As of now – we are to be back in school tomorrow. The local university is remaining remote indefinitely and a private school near the downtown area will remain on remote instruction through Thursday.
A friend and I went to a late lunch at her favorite sushi restaurant. Always a treat to have a lunch out on a weekday. Will be watching my team in the basketball playoffs this evening. Took a nap this afternoon – so I can stay up to watch it.