Letter to the Editor
Dear Nathan Grimm,
The God who suffers with us
Dear reader, whoever you are and wherever you are in your life, God has listened to you. He has heard you. He has understood you. Most of all, during your active life on a daily basis God has surrounded you with his love and compassion. He knows our troubles and struggles, how we may grow weary sometimes and even feel like we have lost our way.
The monk Thomas Merton once met an old fellow monk who seemed worn-out and ready to give up. Merton gently put his hand on the man’s shoulder, smiling at him he advised: “Brother, courage comes and goes. Hold on for the next supply.”
Maybe we do not know how valuable we are in God’s sight. That he loved us and gave himself for us while we were still lost in ungratefulness and sin. That he carries us with a father’s love and a mother’s care. That he has made us his adopted children and promised to live with us forever.
God does have hopes and purposes for each one of us, without a doubt. Listen to his purpose in Psalm 103: “God will not always accuse us; he has not dealt with us according to our sins. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us.” Wow! God enjoys forgiving our sins and forgetting them, too.
In his very blood he washed us. By his wounds we have been healed. No greater love is there anywhere than the love of one who gives his very life for us. So, God is not only Love. God is also Compassion personified, incredibly so: “Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:7).
God intends for his people to take holiness very seriously. We are not supposed to live a busy life with God tacked on as an extra.
In fact, God needs our help today. He is giving us an opportunity to contribute to God’s redemptive compassion for humans who are suffering. They are the sick, the poor and broken ones whom God is always reaching out to help.
We can add our help to God’s efforts by our prayers, worship, Bible study, by generosity in sharing our goods, and by meeting in small groups where “wisdom in confusing times” can be taught by listening to one another’s stories.
Pope Francis believes that every Christian church must be a community of the cross, a community that suffers with those who suffer, heals wounds of the heart, opens doors, frees people, teaches that God is good, that God forgives all.
That God is the compassionate Father who stands with us--always ready--by our side.