Why your suffering matters.

When you spend enough time with me, if I am able to be myself fully with you, you’ll find a very sarcastic and immature person. A person who is strangely drawn to the likes of Stephen Colbert and Daniel Tosh. I am a prankster, sometimes by revenge, others by sheer humor. For instance, a long time girlfriend broke up with me, she was sending me nasty emails and hurt my mom’s feelings. So, a friend and I bought fish, found her car when she wasn’t around it, took off her hubcaps and put fish in there. So when she drove, rotting fish would grind up into her wheels, making the car smell awful. And, no one is smart enough, or, stupid enough, would look in their tires for rotting fish.

On top of this, I am a huge sports fan. Not a day goes by, rarely even a few hours, where I am not surfing the web or watching TV to check out how awful my Minnesota Timberwolves are, or, how the Twins will be in contention for a division championship, but, still not good enough for a World Series is. I love sports.

I like people who like stupid humor. I like people who like sports. Its easy too.

The short 24 years I have lived, I have learned only a few things. One of those things is, when I love someone immensely, who they are and what they do, triggers all of my crap. They stir up my insecurities, my self-doubts, my shame. Another is, when I can stay in a relationship long enough, despite all of my crap being stirred up, I can finally realize what it means to be human and have my human needs be met. I finally feel like I am known, like I am loved, and that I belong. Just as well, I know them, I love them, and, I long for them.

Your suffering matters. Overwhelmingly so. You can only take people on the journey as far as you have gone. So when we suppress our pain, our insecurities, our doubts, our fears, we become very shallow people. We often hate others for what we hate in ourselves. Our answers are found in pointing out Bible verses or facts, rather, than a transparent, beautiful Truth, that has become a part of who we are. We become fearful of the world, and, want to escape it, rather than accepting it and becoming a catalyst in it.

You can only change the world, as much as you have been changed. Everyone has the desires to change the world outside of ourselves, but, do we first have the courage to change the world within ourselves? This is the beauty that Jesus found in the a simple prayer “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” When we can recognize our own inner poverty, and, even love it, we can also love and accept the poverty around us. The world becomes less troublesome and burden filled. We have created space within us to mourn and celebrate our humanity. We have also done the same for others. Jesus didn’t come just to show the world the nature of God, he also came to show the world how to be human.

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5 thoughts on “Why your suffering matters.

  1. Z Banks says:

    I like this. Especially this morning. And, especially when I’m suffering. But, I’ve learned over the last few years that when we are transparent, we get hurt. A lot. Worse. Worser. (Worser is my term for inexplicably bad.) So, it’s not surprising that so many choose the facade over the truth of who they are.

    God bless.

    P.S. I love stupid comedy and sports, too.

    • mfries05 says:

      I agree with you. I suffered a lot as a teenage and a slow reality I’ve come to, is when I keep others from hurting me, I also keep others from loving me. And, letting God love me, is the only thing that has ever healed me. Your words are wise.

  2. Ray Gentry says:

    Thanks for your post! I agree that when we journey with others open and honestly about who we are, then we can truly be present with them in their suffering. And yes, being transparent opens up all of our insecurities and allows us to be rejected, but true relationships are built when we’re less concerned about ourselves than we are of others. Thanks!

    • mfries05 says:

      Thanks ray, I love that last line about how true relationships care more about others than themselves. Augustine said something along the lines of the fact that when we know we are loved, we no longer have thoughts of ourselves but only of others.

  3. Amy says:

    This is a beautiful post. I think the simple reminder that “your suffering matters” is immense.

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