It is absolutely amazing how Christians respond to suffering. I think a lot of it has to do with what we are taught about suffering depending upon which Church we attend. Whatever end of the spectrum we find ourselves, our response to those going through prolonged suffering can simply be unhelpful. Very rarely do Christians weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). I have had a lifetime of heartbreaking suffering, and can only count a handful of Christians who have actually wept with me. It is far more common to be corrected for having a negative attitude over the challenges in life. This simply has to stop in the Christian community and be replaced with biblical lament.
I have longed to write a frank and honest letter to Christians because I think some are uncomfortable with suffering, disability and mental illness that they are often at a lost of what to say and do. I hope to write a series of blogs that provide suggestions as to how we as the body of Christ can follow the example of Jesus by loving the marginalised in our community, and making the church a place where they feel loved, supported and cared for.
I looked at my stomach and saw the latest scars that were in this area as a result of a new treatment. These new scars were surrounding a much bigger scar from bowel surgery. I then looked at all the other scars on my body and saw that each scar told a story, but more importantly each scar points me back to the One who has scars in His hands and feet.
I can’t do this! I think to myself as yet another thing goes wrong with my health. When trials and suffering stretch way past the daily challenges I face, I start to think how can I possibly keep going?
“It must be day ten”, I think as I wake up with my body searing with more pain than normal. An intense level […]
The best word used to describe what it is like living with multiple illnesses is isolating. It is isolating because very few people understand what it is like living with a whole range of illnesses. It is isolating because you are not necessarily in a position to work, and have interaction found in a workplace. It’s isolating because after awhile you stop being invited to things, as you generally can’t turn up, so people think there is no point inviting you. It is isolating because friendships disappear, as you are no longer in a position to go out and see people. You know that the friendships that remain will last a long time, because these are the ones that have stuck by you.
Living with multiple illnesses is like constantly tiptoeing around nicely placed rows of dominoes hoping everything remains in place. As soon as one domino is knocked, the whole system starts to collapse.