Who Cares About Your Suffering?

So many ask the question: Where is God when there is suffering?

Am I alone in my suffering?

So many of us are working on a satisfying answer to this apparent riddle.

Travis Hearn and Mike Ditka

Travis Hearn and Mike Ditka

Today is a sad day, a friend of mine,-Travis Hearn, a young boy paralyzed playing high school football passed from this life. His broken neck never dampened his spirit. He loved all the people who approached him to pass along God’s love in the form of hugs and money and other gifts. Travis was a warrior and was a big proponent of faith convinced that God’s hand was there to compasionately touch and love him and guide him toward victory. (Even though his quadriplegia wouldn’t allow him to really feel any touch)

I will miss Travis in the days ahead. I was part of a throng of people who met Travis after his injury. We all quickly grew to admire how he faced the difficulties with such courage. Travis was working with me on a project to be ready to reach out and support a newly injured player and family. Travis and and four other boys who suffered spinal cord injuries playing high school football formed the Gridiron Warriors Alliance as an organization ready to pass along support and experience. In tribute to Travis we will pursue that goal of forming the alliance with renewed vigor.

God was there present to Travis in many ways. Travis struggled mightily trying to make sense and respond the best he could to horrific circumstances. I grew deep admiration as I saw rugged determination and optimism flourish from this boy with a giant smile and amazing spiritual resilience.

Today, in my moments of grief another friend sent me a powerful and inspiring email. In this message I am sharing below, he beautifully demonstrates to me  how God is present to those suffering:

 Here is what he wrote:

“………Yesterday was pretty cold.  As I was walking along the street, I came up behind a homeless man walking on the street in front of me.  He was hunched over against the cold talking to himself (or God?).  As I passed, I noticed his bare hands were tucked under his armpits.  I also found that despite my lack of pocket cash and overdrawn bank accounts, I was rich enough to give him my gloves.  After all, with my pockets empty, I had a warm place to put my hands!  And somehow, as he put the gloves on and we parted, it didn’t seem quite as cold?………..

 You and I are reservoirs of God’s love that can be passed along in the form of a pair of gloves or an encouraging word, or more.

God lives as we  pass along His goodness.

Peace be with you my friend. I pray that you may be touched by God in your suffering-you are never alone.

Deacon Don

 

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