There’s a saying that goes like, “Be nice to everyone you meet, because everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” I was reminded of this in one of the cathedrals we toured in Ireland when I stumbled upon a prayer book written by people passing through from all over the world.
Two recent entries in particular stood out to me. I’m assuming they were written by a couple that was there together. The first read,
“Lord, help us find the faith we’ve lost, and help us help others do the same.”
And the second,
“I have lost my faith when my most precious and beautiful daughter was lost 7 months ago. She was only 23. This has ruined me. Help!”
Written just a day before we were there, someone had stood in the exact spot I was standing, crushed from their loss but hopeful enough to write a few words in desperation.
It took me aback for a second. As I flipped through more pages, I realized this was not the only one of its kind. Many had spilled their hearts, the words laced in grief and sorrow, while others expressed praise and gratitude.
It was a sobering reminder and encouragement. Suffering is a binding agent for humanity. It’s a common denominator for all who have walked the earth. For centuries we’ve cried out, in Psalm-like fashion, in our hearts, homes, churches and cathedrals.
We’ve gravitated time and time again to the promise of a loving God, a God who is with us, Emmanuel, in the suffering. And the story continues, the prayer books keep getting filled.
No one is immune to the pain. In the double-edged beauty of living we accept the good and the bad, so it’s not only helpful but imperative to keep sharing in our suffering, because one of the most important messages we must continue to perpetuate is...
...you are not alone.