Gifts hidden in suffering – redeemed

By Dave Henning / October 8, 2019

“There are gifts hidden in suffering that can be redeemed only in the experience. . . .  Compassion, which literally means ‘suffering with,’ may feel like the most futile kind of suffering.  It changes nothing.  It hold no hope of changing anything.  Yet to be compassionate is to see with a God’s-eye view.”- Desmond Tutu, Made for Goodness

Aubrey Sampson concludes Chapter 10 of The Louder Song with a caution.  The author counsels not to judge someone else’s circumstances.  Because, even in the rare instance where we’ve made an accurate assessment, we must still show compassion to them.  Thus, Aubrey contends, we display arrogance when we fail to extend compassion simply because we think they deserve their situation.

Furthermore, the author asserts, if we can’t show the same compassion to others that God, in Jesus showed us, we must ask ourselves if we’ve grown cold to the gospel.  Musician and author Michael Card expands Aubrey’s thoughts:

“We know we truly love someone when we are willing to take on their pain as our own.  The degree to which I am willing to enter into the suffering of another person reveals the level of my commitment and love for them.  If I am not interested in your hurts, I am not really interested in you.  Neither am I willing to know you nor be known by you.”

Above all, Aubrey asserts that godly lament gets its hands dirty.  Hence, lament mourns with as well as on behalf of the lost, least, and lonely.  As a result, the gospel functions as much more than a self-help manual for private use.  When we pour ourselves out, we declare to others that we stand with them – that they’re not alone.

And that, Aubrey states, represents “one of the most healing things we can say to anyone.”

Today’s question: How do you redeem the gifts hidden in suffering?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The thin line between lament, despair”

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Dave Henning

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