SufferingNew Every Morning | August 8, 2020
Every interior movement we encounter in others—their emotional reactions, their conversations and self-talk, their behaviors whether impulsive or deliberate—is a cry rooted in some form of suffering aching to be soothed, some need fighting to be secured, or some form of joy longing to be celebrated. Their emotions, words, and actions are FLAGs frantically waving for attention and care. Their actions rise out of life-threatening fears, unsatisfied longings, aching wounds still bleeding and raw, and gifts and capacities that are obstructed and stifled. Their actions may seem to be saying I hate the world and everyone in it. But underneath the vehemence lies a deeper cry: I feel beaten down and alone. Someone please see me.
—Frank Rogers Jr. Practicing Compassion (Upper Room Books, 2015)
As you interact with people today, who might need a reminder that they are not alone? Join the conversation.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
—Psalm 34:18 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Lord, open my eyes so that I may see who around me needs compassion.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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I am not sure if there will be someone in my path today who is feeling lonely. I have a meeting today with the group/non-profit which I volunteer with. Our president passed a little over a week ago, and we need to see who will step up to fill his shoes. Some of us are wondering if our organization’s time has past…We have a hard time getting people to volunteer on our executive committee and it seems that fewer people are taking on responsibility – and it can be discouraging. My tennis partner asked me to join this committee nearly 20 years ago, and she has been serving on it for 21 years. We do a lot of the leg work and we are both working full time. Many other board members are retired – we are hoping some of them will step up. We have not met since our meeting in March and we had to cancel our banquet in April. Not sure what activities are possible for the upcoming year.
Good news regarding your colonoscopy Robert. I will be prepping tomorrow, as mine is Monday. Hope my results are as good as yours, and I can move forward looking to switch treatments.
Dad and I had good conversation last evening as we went through another chapter in our book about Heaven. I think dad is doing better in this isolation situation – seems we all adjust one way or the other. Dad says he keeps thinking about why God is allowing this pandemic to linger. I suggested maybe God is calling us more to simplicity and contentment. Showing us how we are so drawn to the world, its pleasures, trying to gain and attain. But maybe it is about simplicity, more time alone allows us to focus on God more. As the author says…to pursue Heaven is to pursue Him. To pursue Him is to find Heaven. She references Colossians frequently – setting our minds on things which are above. One of her closing remarks – You have no regrets about this world because all your hope is in the next, which, by the way, helps you live life better down here on earth.
I am not sure this is the type of book dad was hoping it would be. I think he was looking more for knowledge and interpretation of the Bible with respect to Heaven. This book encourages us to use our imagination and realize that any level of satisfaction, pleasure, gratification which we experience here will not even be infinitesimally close to what Heaven will be like. Dad can’t wait to see mom and other loved ones. But – I think we will be so consumed by being in God’s presence, that the joy we might get by seeing those we love – this will be turned into magnificent praise to Our Father. I think dad feels like he can gather factual knowledge about Heaven. But I think it is all part of the mystery of God…grace, our future homecoming, east from the west…and on and on. Thinking about Heaven and God – it is all too much for my linear, logical brain. I told dad that I ask God to give me the perspective He wants me to have – and that I will be satisfied and content with whatever, however, whenever that occurs. May it be so.
Thanks for bearing with me through my ramblings this morning.
Prayers for David and his vertigo, and decisions Ally needs to make. Prayers for Julie and Megan’s safety and well being. May you find just the right companion for Tazzie. Prayers for Andrea, Connie, Marcie, Mary, Rick, Lou, April, BJ and others who trod here often. May you all feel the embrace and love of Our Great God.
I will look for those who are in need of my compassion as I go through my day. May I have the proper response and may I realize and detect a need in others.
Prayers for Jill and her group which is struggling, may someone volunteer to lead their mission forward. Prayers for your prep and test, may the results be an all clear. The prep tomorrow will be the hardest part and it is not pleasant, may you be well throughout.
Prayers for Robert and his life well lived filled with enjoyable sights, sounds tastes, work and experiences.
Prayers for Ally and David as each stuggles, David with recovery and Ally with balancing job and home responsibilities.
Thank you for your prayers and kind words. They are much appreciated.
Prayers, thank you and stay well dear UR
To varying degrees I think we all need compassion. It is gratifying to know that when it is not supplied by humans, that God’s compassion, from the One who knows us best, is always there. Turn to God and be sustained.
Sometimes I read the posts of others before writing mine, but there are times I want to write my post straight from the heart. Today was one of those days.
Thanks for your prayers Jill and Julie. Only God knows if I have lived life well. As as human it certainly has not been perfect. Of the three colonoscopies I’ve had the last one was the easiest and the prep was the least unpleasant, very thankful for that. Hope you have great results Jill. Am praying for your Dad and his effort to understand heaven. I think heaven is a difficult place to understand from this side of life. Hope, trust, and faith are surely needed. Prayers for Tazzie’s new partner, safety where Julie and Megan kive, the dear UR family we remember so well and always hope to hear from. God’s peace, love, mercy, and grace is ever present for you. Thank You, Lord.