“Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different than they are.”
Good morning, friends! I hope your day and week have begun well.
One reality of life I did not expect to learn when I first became a minister but have in fact learned in spades is the ever-present notion of suffering. In more fact, I think I see something most people don’t see or understand.
In the movie “The Sixth Sense”, the main character is a young boy (Cole) who has an extraordinary ability. Let him tell it for himself, speaking to his counselor.
Cole Sear: I see dead people.
Malcolm Crowe: In your dreams?
[Cole shakes his head no]
Malcolm Crowe: While you're awake?
Malcolm Crowe: Dead people like, in graves? In coffins?
Cole Sear: Walking around like regular people. They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're dead.
Malcolm Crowe: How often do you see them?
Cole Sear: All the time. They're everywhere.
I don’t see dead people; I see suffering people, everywhere, and they neither see the suffering of other people nor do they understand their own suffering. Suffering is everywhere.
Easter is the suffering season and Jesus is called the suffering Servant, but his form of suffering is not what affects the people I see. I see suffering in the manner of today’s quote, everywhere. People aging who wish they were not. Persons of economic circumstance who wish it were better. Persons in conflict who wish it would go away. Persons of certain abilities who envy something else. I could go on an on; I see people everywhere in denial of reality and tremendously suffering because of their denial. Is that you? God, I hope not.
There is no doubt we can do something about reality; that’s the whole change game. But to deny it, to mentally suffer because of it, that’s self destructive. Learning to embrace reality is an advanced step of maturity. Making the most of it and living within the confines of it are sure steps to peace and happiness. Is that you? God, I hope so.
Yes, I see suffering people all around me and too often I too am suffering, but occasionally I see the beautiful mystics, the subversive angels who exude happiness, joy, peace, contentment and so much more. I see how they make the most of what they have and are not concerned with what they have not. I see a different way in them, and I want that way for everyone. For me, and for you, too. I wish could tell you how, but I can’t, but if you can see the suffering in yourself, if you’ll admit it to yourself, if you’ll just be real for just a moment perhaps you can see the place of you. You can be the mystic, the angel, and have the life of joy, peace and happiness. It may not be the life you want, but if you can embrace the life you have it’s possible. Trust me; I’ve seen it.
Have a blessed Easter week, friends.