Knowing God in the Midst of Our Pain

"Suffering is never for nothing." ~ Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot offers the most durable definition for suffering I've ever heard: Suffering is Having What You Don't Want -- This covers everything from cancer to a flat tire. Or Wanting What You Don't Have -- A spouse, a child, a new job. Life on a fallen planet includes suffering of all types and intensities,… Continue reading Knowing God in the Midst of Our Pain

Standing and Waiting with Those Who Suffer

The words of 17th century poet John Milton from On His Blindness, come to mind with every visit to my mother's long-term care facility:  "They also serve who only stand and wait." I hope it's true, and I'd love to report that in the midst of my waiting we have warm and meaningful conversations or… Continue reading Standing and Waiting with Those Who Suffer

Ten Thousand Truths

In my gratitude journal, you will not find the words "back pain" or "dead air conditioner in the mini-van."  And even though I have read (and re-read) the Beatitudes, I am in a season of mourning deeply over the advancing dementia of a dear friend -- and I'm not feeling the least bit blessed by… Continue reading Ten Thousand Truths

Pain, Emotion, and God

Elisabeth Elliot coined the most memorable definition of human suffering that I have ever heard:  "Suffering is wanting what you don't have -- or having what you don't want."  These words came to mind often as I read Between Pain and Grace, because Gerald W. Peterman and Andrew J. Schmutzer have initiated a fresh conversation which does… Continue reading Pain, Emotion, and God

Conversation at the Door

Some of our most important and profound words are said in doorways.  Because someone is leaving, words spoken at the door are often more consequential, more weighty.  Time is short and must not be frittered away.  An entire evening may pass filled with light conversation and meandering stories until it's time to say goodbye, and suddenly the… Continue reading Conversation at the Door