The other day I went to visit a dear friend who is suffering with shingles in her eyes and on her head.
She was in utter agony...face scrunched in pain, pale and gray in color.
I went there bearing tulips (her favorite flowers) and balloons and chocolate (her favorite food) seeking to encourage her, kind friend that I am.
I don't know what I was thinking...probably that I had something to offer...some word or prayer that would make everything better.
But what confronted me was such suffering that I trembled before it...tears in my eyes and sadness in my heart that such a woman of God should suffer in this way.
I mean really, she's been through so much already. How much is enough, Lord?
You need to know that she is THE one earthly person I most aspire to be like when, and if, I ever grow up.
She is wise...loving...caring for all creation and people passionately.
She knows how to comfort and her empathy knows no bounds.
Is she perfect? No. And she'll be the first to tell you! But I think she's pretty gosh darn close on an earthly scale.
So, where is all this going you ask?
Because today I want to ramble on the subject of suffering.
Because if you and I haven't already suffered, our time is coming. Count on it.
And we need to be ready.
A great deal of preparation for suffering is simple, but it must be done now, before suffering comes in like a tsunami and we are left reeling.