“There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried.”- Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the poor in spirit.”- Psalm 34:18 (ESV)
In Chapter 11 (“Boundaries with Sadness”) of Boundaries for Your Soul, Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller assert that you need your pain. Because, the authors note, grief makes you real. In addition, disappointment develops resilience. Also, suffering gives birth to vision, innovation, and dependence on the Holy Spirit. Likewise, sorrow contains the potential to inspire new chapters of purpose and creativity in your life.
However, excruciating silence often results when nothing seems to work and God feels absent. Consider the prophet Elijah. At one point in his life, he experienced profound sorrow and darkness. Indeed, Elijah’s pervasive sorrow caused him to ask God to end his life. And, like the prophet, many of us have a part of our soul so overcome with sorrow that we lose sight of God’s power.
As a result, in his book Life of the Beloved, Henri Nouwen portrays the painful aspects of life as a faithful offering. Nouwen goes on to suggest that one needs to befriend brokenness as well as put it under the blessings. Therefore, Alison and Kim exhort:
“No matter the cause of your pain, your heart can become a reservoir of compassion and empathy for others. To paraphrase Nouwen, through your experience of suffering, you can be taken, blessed, broken — and given for the world.”
In the next blog, Alison and Kim help you get to know your sadness as they look at the benefits, dangers, needs, and fears associated with sadness.
Today’s question: Describe how God’s redeemed your sadness through eyes that have cried. Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Create a sacred place for suffering”