Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day 35: Suffering

"Suffering is a call to conversion: it reminds us of our frailty and vulnerability." --Pope Francis this morning.

I must confess that I have been at a loss for words over the last 24 hours.  Yesterday when I heard that another young firefighter lost his life, and with a wife expecting their first child, my heart sank and I was taken back to that awful Saturday morning four months ago.  The pain is still real no matter how hard I try to push it away.  I scribbled some words in my office because I genuinely was angry with God yesterday.  I thought first about his beautiful bride bearing his unborn child.  I thought next about my brother's brothers, as I like to call them, and how much suffering those poor souls could endure.  And then I through about my family, because we are all part of the same family, and how this would reopen wounds that still haven't healed.

Suffering is very much a part of our human life.  Which is why Jesus died on the cross.  He became frail like us, vulnerable, and took on our humanity to bring some meaning to human suffering. God is not a callous Supreme Being that would do something like this to bring people closer to him, but where else do we turn in these moments of loss. Again, I'm just fumbling with words at this point because I have no answers.  I cannot rationally explain why a young husband two months shy of meeting his son would be called home to God.  It doesn't make sense.  Then again the cross didn't make sense to a lot of people on that first Good Friday.  There is always hope.  There is always an Easter sunrise on the horizon that brings some sort of meaning to our suffering.  But for now we look to the cross, hold our loved ones tight, and never take any second of our time here on earth for granted.  The cross is a gift.  In time we will realize the time we spent with those we've lost, though short, was a timeless gift as well.