“I Walked A Mile With Sorrow…

by John J Kirkwood (from 04 April, 2016)

Just a random rambling over my first cup of coffee, listening to Bobby Bland. (forgive the typos, have to go to church).

Suffering?  Where is God?  There is no God?

Have you considered what suffering has given you, what suffering has given us? From the Declaration of Independence to Bobby Blue Bland, from Beethoven to Miles Davis, from Van Gogh to Bobby Fischer, from Florence NIghtengale to Dr. Scholls. Suffering gave us Anne Sullivan, Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Joe Scheidler, and Jesus Christ.

Suffering has led to the highest poetry, the greatest intimacy, the most remarkable acts of humanity, and the greatest opportunity to reflect the love and compassion of almighty God to those in need.

So the alcoholic becomes the greatest counselor and thousands of lives are touched, the heroin addict goes from abuser to nurse, the homeless man rises up and starts a chain of rescue missions still touching lives today. The man whose girlfriend aborted his baby doesn’t stop spreading truth and healing and his joy is exuberant.

The battered wife becomes the shoulder and the strength to lead women through or to lead them away, the song written by the outcast is played over and over to allow a generation to overcome. The poem, the movie, the stand-up act may do the same. Jazz, country, the blues – Americans excel at suffering and the natural consequence of the godly under the whip. They take their inspiration from the history of the Jew and from the “negro spirituals.”

There must be something about “That book” that unites them all. Ultimately, it’s suffering that gave us “That book,” suffering that is infused and then defused down a blood stained path – the Via Dolorosa, ending with a man of sorrows who hung on a cross of suffering and an empty tomb that announces its defeat.

That’s right, suffering for the Christian isn’t karma from a previous life or inshallah – the will of God; suffering is an enemy, and it’s a beacon, it’s man-made, and it’s only undone by the pierced hand of a risen savior.

You suffer? Hallelujah, you’re still alive! You’ve suffered greatly! Great! Bring it to the altar, offer it up to God. Thank Him for the opportunity that it has given you to show His strength, to spread His comfort. Then show your scars to your kids and share the wisdom that your pain has purchased.

Take your suffering and put it into verse, or song, and most importantly, into your life’s work. Use your suffering to offer the hand to the next guy, pull him up from pain, confusion, and despair.

If you must suffer, and we must, suffer righteously. Suffer like Ken Hutcherson, who thanked God for his cancer and the opportunity that it gave him to display the love of Christ in his broken body. Know that brother Ken didn’t thank God for giving him cancer, that would be blasphemy because Adam gave him the cancer. No, brother Ken thanked God for the opportunities that cancer opened for him, as Paul thanked God for his chains and the furtherance of the gospel that a Roman imprisonment opened for him.

Would I want to live a life devoid of pain and sorrow? No, I’m not willing to give up suffering for the sake of your idea of a sane universe, because I’m not willing to give up what suffering has given us. What suffering has given me.

Suffering gave me a compassion for the incarcerated, the addicted, the lost. Thank you Lord, for allowing me to suffer.

I’ll take Bobby Bland on a cold April morning in Chicago and a big heaping side of worship with the people of the Book.

63 Comments

  1. It’s much easier to unsradtend when you put it that way!

  2. I was trying to reply to this before and site went down. Anyway, do you have any idea how the world works? Do you think so many ppl would be uninsured if insurance was affordable to most people? A decent private plan in NYC if you don’t qualify for low cost state insurance often STARTS at $500. Get your head out of your ass.

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  8. Fantomzeit – Dunkelheit oder Leere im frühen Mittelalter? » St. Pantaleon – vier Rekorde fürs Guinness. Sven Schütte als karolingischer Lückenbüßer sagte hierzu am 31. August 2007 um 21:08: […] In ottonischer Zeit angelegte Gräber oberhalb seiner Fundamente schließen bereits Fußbroichs ottonischen Bau aus. In den entscheidenden Schichten wurde …

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  15. Bonjour Fruitier,Les conséquences d’une plainte éventuelle sont difficiles à évaluer car il s’agit d’une matière complexe. Nous te suggérons de consulter un avocat sur cette question. Le 1er conseil est généralement gratuit.Vous pourriez également consulter un psychologue spécialisé en la matière. Il y aurait peut être possibilité que les protagonistes puissent parler ensemble des ces faits afin de les surmonter, sous le « contrôle » d’un professionnel.

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  26. pour ce petit cours d’histoire sur Mme Boucher. Je pense de plus en plus que lors d’une élections, on devrait surtout s’aatader à leur histoire plutôt qu’à leur promesses, on aurait une meilleure idée sur ce à quoi on doit s’attendre!J’ai un vague souvenir que Mme Boucher a déménagé très jeune à Ste-Foy. J’ai dû lire ce fait dans un beau livre sur l’histoire de Ste-Foy édité sous l’impulsion de Mme Boucher.

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  35. karen,As you probably gathered, the last month of so has been more busy on so many fronts than I can express.Can you please resend your correspondence?I’m checking email more regularly now.Peace

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  40. Millä tavalla hoidot kielletään? Saako luontaishoitaja sakot jos hoitaa raskaanaolevaa? Evätäänkö diabetikolta kelakorvaukset jos hän käy homeopaatilla? Olen samaa mieltä, ihmisellä tulisi olla oikeus päättää hoidostaan, silläkin uhalla että päätös voisi olla väärä! Viranomaisten, lääkärien ja muiden asiantuntijoiden tehtävänä on antaa henkilölle riittävästi tietoa tuon päätöksen tekemiseen.

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  45. About time someone responded to all the negative news from Tony Wong, and other members of the press trying to slam the real estate industry. About time, the industry responded to the ridiculous plans by our government, which I might add conflict on the provincial and the federal level. Way to go Nan!!

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  49. Totta, miksipä sitä ei voisi lainata sellaista tekstiä jos se tuntuu omalta ja tietää toisenkin hullaantuvan siihen? Tuskin saaja pahastuu moisesta. Seksi on mukavaa, siitä puhuminen on hauskaa ja vielä antoisampaa se on kun saa siitä myös varauksetta keksustella vastakkaisen sukupuolen kera.

  50. Mandy,This looks so delicious! We love anything we can add fresh strawberries to. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday this week. I can't wait to see what you link up next week. Have a wonderful weekend.Michelle

  51. Lina / Na verdade cientistas não tem CERTEZA DE ABSOLUTAMENTE NADA ,POIS ,TUDO É EXPECULAÇÃO ; A ÚNICA CERTEZA QUE NÓS TEMOS , É QUE EXISTE UM CRIADOR TREMENDO E PODEROSO e a partir do momento em que se tenta excluí-Lo de Sua própria criação o ser humano torna-se repetitivo, cansativo e absurdo . O ser humano não consegue ter domínio sobre seus próprios instintos ,relacionamentos e conhecimentos , e vai tentar DESVENDAR O INÍCIO DA EXISTÊNCIA DO SISTEMA SOLAR OU EXISTÊNCIA HUMANA???????????? Que tal começarmos dentro de nós mesmos as descobertas???Gostei deste comentário ou não: 1

  52. Should not your comment "him" coaching, have been "his" coaching?You picked on a very obvious grammatical error but missed the less obvious one. Stick to your knitting mate, which you do really well.Er, if this comment gets through it will be a wonder considering that your "are you a robot" visual is so difficult to see. Why is that? mara

  53. Excellent article. You're photos are amazing, very nice.I had first seen this recipe on Tony's show No Reservations. He had an episode about cooking techniques and one section of the show was how to cook a whole chicken. Let me tell you, this is a great example of something so simple being so amazingly delicious.

  54. Skal bli veldig spennende Ã¥ se fortsettelsen her ja!! Jeg fikk siste nummer av Lev Landlig i postkassen i dag – og kjente øyeblikkelig igjen kjøkkenet pÃ¥ Farfar-huset!! SÃ¥ flott reportasjen!Koser meg med koselig lesing i sofakroken i kveldTitti-klæmm!!

  55. Ah ! décidément !à travers lui, nous retrouvons l’âme de l’Eglise, et cette crâne lucidité dont les évêques français semblaient trop modérément pourvus, surtout certains…Espéronsque Monseigneur Centène montrera utilement la voie à ses pairs, y compris ceux qui sont plutôt « abbés de cour », et même le « surmené », ce si saint homme (!) dont nous avons médit…

  56. Thanks, Miriam!You aren’t being nit-picky about the date of death. I noticed that I had entered 03 Nov 1840 in my database, and so I’ve corrected the database and the article above.People often complain about inaccurate genealogical information on the web. I worry about errors that might be in the information I post to this blog, and so I very much appreciate when people point out errors they’ve found.Thanks for your help!

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  59. Oh, yes, chairs. Are we going to see a molded stackable garden version of the Eames bent plywood chairs next? (Bring it on!) I had to check back on this post, because I was certain I’d seen the chairs Deborah Silver/Dirt Simple posted about today on your post first. Not the case but just vaguely remembering I’d seen very cool chairs here.

  60. Hum. Well. How do I respond constructively? I’m going to try, because I really think it’s useful for me to understand your perspective, and you mine. I certainly don’t think Palestinians are perfect in every way. Let’s get that straight. But I also don’t think that being imperfect means Palestinians aren’t entitled to real assistance. Do you? Or are you saying that Palestinians just aren’t entitled to assistance period? If so, I’d like to know if you think anyone is entitled to assistance, and if so, on what basis?

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