January 15, 2007

Suffering?

The other day I was speaking with someone who was really suffering. She had a lot of anxiety and was struggling in the anguish of feeling--not necessarily being--separated from God.

Later on when I was trying to pray she came back to mind. I thought, should I offer to take on some of her suffering for the love of God, and to give her some relief?

But then I thought, if I did experience some of her anxiety and stress, but I knew that I was doing it for the love of God and for her, would it really be the same suffering? Unless I felt like God wasn't in the picture, unless I felt like the suffering was meaningless, would it really be suffering of the same intensity?

Suffering is one thing, but suffering that seems to have no meaning, that brings the searing loneliness of feeling to be without even God--let alone anyone else--that's something else.

I'm not sure if this is right, or if it makes sense.

Nevertheless, this is why--all Christology and exegesis of Psalm 22 aside--the Passion only makes sense to me if Jesus says "My God, my God, why have forsaken me" and really means it. For me to see the Incarnate Word entering into the most profound human loneliness and isolation and despair, well, that gives me hope for salvation.

1 comment:

Steph Bachman said...

It is an interesting question whether when you pray to take on someone's suffering if you take on their actual suffering or if you take on your own suffering in equal measure.

It's something to think about. Thank you.