There’s a story in the ancient Hebrew Scriptures about a man named Job. Job’s life went to crap really fast and his closest friends came and sat with him. For the first seven days, they just sat, quietly, with their friend. On the 8th day, they opened their mouths, tried to explain things beyond their pay grade and the whole thing went to pot.
As a pastor, I have learned over the past 23 years that listening to and walking with others through suffering is the only thing that makes suffering slightly more bearable. There is no, and I seriously mean, no theological explanation that helps ease the pain of suffering - primarily because explanations and words deal with the head while sitting and quiet and sojourning speak to the heart. In addition, how does anyone really know anyway? We don’t.
While meeting with my spiritual director yesterday, we did land on a sermon title that I think will be my bread and butter from here on out though (truth be told, it’s been my bread and butter for the better part of 10 years) and that is - Life is a clusterfuck and God is here.
So, if you are suffering, I want you to know that I SEE YOU. I don’t know the ins and outs or the why’s but I do see you. And somewhere in your own cluster, I firmly trust that the Divine is somehow present and love and mercy will somehow, in some way prevail.