This post is part of the Final Synchroblog. I have not always participated, but it has been a blessing to do so when able. The October 21, 2015 Synchroblog invites bloggers to imagine what they would say if they were writing their last blog post.
Update: 10/21/15 ... the first release of links for other participants is found at the bottom of this post. I have a feeling there will be more trickling in, so stay tuned!
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As I am writing this post on October 19th, this will also function as the marker of my eighth blogiversary. My very first post was on October 19, 2007. It has been an interesting eight years....
If this were to be my last blog post, I would say that I am just beginning to understand the depths of The Purple Martyrdom. I have written 81 different posts with this label, which makes it only second to cHesed, which has 134...or 148 if I include Perichoretic cHesed posts.
What I have learned over these past eight years of processing so much purple is that pain and suffering are all wrapped up in the mystery of life.
Peck says that the Four Tools of Discipline are techniques of suffering. If we do not learn how to experience legitimate suffering, then we stop growing or get stuck. It is the only way forward to solving life's problems -- large or small -- and growing to be who we are truly meant to be.
The way to growth and maturity, then, passes through pain and suffering.
- Pregnancy and childbirth are full of pain...stretching, making room for a growing life triggers other mechanisms and push and shove mothers around for nine months. For those who suffer with severe morning sickness, they wonder how they stay alive and how the baby gets any nourishment. It also permanently changes the mother's body in the process. There is no going back, there is only establishing a new normal.
- Those babies get squeezed pretty hard during the delivery process. But I learned how important that is when our third son was delivered too quickly for all the fluid to get squeezed out of his lungs.
- Humans gain knowledge first through experimentation, and pain is an important teacher. We learn that there are a variety of kinds of pain...and we learn to bear some kinds of pain in order to get what we want.
- Pain and suffering teach us things about ourselves and those around us. They help us develop empathy when we see others suffer in ways we have suffered. They help us develop trust in those who help us bear up under trials. They help us develop a sense of generosity and sharing for those whose suffering is greater than our own at that particular moment.
- Pain and suffering are experiences of the body, mind and spirit -- because each of those areas grow...and growth is painful and must be suffered through.
- Pain and suffering are the great equalizers. Everyone experiences them. There are no exceptions. Not even God.
- Lessons of love and grace and mercy for those who suffer and for those who cannot stop the suffering of others.
- Lessons of faith and trust in the Ones who know fully rather than we who peer through a glass darkly.
- Lessons of justice and restoration and reconciliation and forgiveness that call us to step out past the pain and see a much bigger picture of our interconnectedness.
To the degree we trust God's cHesed for US, we will be able to endure the pain and suffering required to grow and help others grow.