Today is the saddest day in the Christian calendar and in three days, we will be celebrating the gladdest day. It is where sorrow meets joy, where pain meets blissful healing. Compassion, which is derived from the term "suffering with" is the empathic bridge to balancing the paradoxical feelings which impact our thoughts as we try to understand the layers of meaning behind the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is compassion which allows us to envision in our hearts that His sacrifice, painful and bloody almost beyond comprehension, was out of love and forgiveness.
Grief and sorrow provides the gift of love and forgiveness......
We all suffer.............as Dostoevsky stated......"to live is to suffer........" I don't believe we could ever grasp the purity of gladness without the true understanding of suffering. We wouldn't know if we had nothing to compare it to would we? This weekend, we are offered the clearest connection to this life realization all within a couple of days. Not only that, we are offered a chance to recognize the gift of life, to speak the word of gratitude and to hopefully take the next step in our personal journeys towards a life filled with acts of love and kindness.
I can't help but perseverate today over the many many suffering spots in this world, where poverty, violence, oppression and killings are a way of life for millions of human beings. I read a diary post of a missionary living in Malawi this morning which touched me deeply. I listened on the radio to a man who lost his whole family in the killings in Rwanda, and how he has reclaimed his life and his joy piece by piece while living here in Canada. And I watched some of the secretly taped videos that have slipped out of Tibet, listened to the journalists describe the situation in the small villages which have never erupted in anger before. I watched the Dalai Lama as he spoke out against the violence by threatening to resign. There is such suffering in oppression.
Good Friday may be a Christian holy day, but today it feels as though it embraces the multi-hues of faith, and the many human beings who are on the hurting side of grief and sorrow.
And the only thing I can think to do is pray. I wish I knew how.