However, if we are to allow Suffering to be our guide, we must first learn to understand her language. She speaks with groans, moans, sighs, and cries of agony. Many find her language to be too harsh to their ears and so they do not listen long enough to detect the meaning in it. Sit with Suffering for a time, though, and allow your ears to become attuned to her voice. Your life will be the better for it.
The bottle, the pill, the bedroom, the mall, the gambling hall, and the boardroom all promise to guide us to happiness yet all disappoint. They cannot lead us there, for they do not know the way. They promise to us that if we just have enough of those things, that if we indulge ourselves enough, we will be free of Suffering at last. However, these are false promises.
The harder we try to rid our lives of Suffering, the louder, larger, and stronger she becomes as she struggles desperately to guide us away from what will only lead to our destruction. If we accept Suffering as our guide, rather than pushing her away, she will help us to find the swiftest routes to our goals of joy and fulfillment, to show us where we are wounded so that we can receive healing and thus be able to walk the path faster, and to encourage us to let go of burdens that we carry so that we need not struggle so hard with the journey. She will become our most treasured friend and ally.
Suffering will not only show us the path to walk and help us to keep on it, but she will point out to us realities we would not otherwise see. Who knows better than the grieving wife what is needed for a woman who has lost her husband? The grieving wife’s suffering opens her eyes to the unique needs and problems which newly widowed women encounter and place her in a situation to be able to act as their liaison, helping them to get those needs met. Who knows better than the blind man what obstacles and challenges present themselves to one who is blind? In his encounter with Suffering, his eyes become opened to the plight of others like himself and he develops for them a tender compassion which leads him to seek solutions.
I hope you will join us tomorrow as we explore Suffering Is an Able Assistant.