Easter morning some very talented young ladies performed an interpretive dance to the song "Via Dolorosa." At that time, of course, Terri Schiavo lay dying and we knew that Pope John Paul II was also in his last days. Suffering was very much on our minds.
"The Way of Suffering." Christ took that way for us. And He calls us to take that way in this fallen world also, to suffer for His sake and for the sake of others.
A friend and I were once sharing some burdens which seemed almost too heavy to bear. At one point she remarked, "I think He gives us each some burden that seems impossible so that we will be witnesses. If He took our burdens away and gave us easy, perfect lives, no one would believe we have anything to offer. Or they would want to follow Him for the bread [like the crowds in Galilee] instead of His love. Everyone has burdens. The fact that we can face these burdens with joy, that we can bear them at all, is what draws people to Him."
That was 15 years ago. I'm not sure I've gotten it yet.
I still want the suffering to end. Sometimes, for some people, it does, some of it at least. That's what I want. And my acceptance has been conditional on that relief. But I know that I will have to accept it as a gift from Him and to Him -- and that in that acceptance I will be saying I am willing for it not to end.
He does what for us is impossible. But we have to want it to be done.