Tag Archives: suffering

A good calling

“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn’t mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to …

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Regular phases

 “…bereavement is not the truncation of married love, but one of its regular phases– like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too. If it hurts (and it certainly will) we accept the pains as a necessary part of this phase…We were one flesh. Now that …

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Alchemy in sorrow (2017)

“Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.” — Pearl S. Buck Dear readers, as always when I take even a short break, I find myself far behind on urgent tasks. In addition …

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How infinitely rich

“I think these difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes around worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” — Isak Dinesen Perhaps the understanding Dinesen describes is one of the greatest gifts to come …

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Such a secret place

“I did not know what to say to him. I felt awkward and blundering. I did not know how I could reach him, where I could overtake him and go on hand in hand with him once more. It is such a secret place, the land of tears.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Whether or not one is alone, …

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Too big to pass

“Trouble is a sieve through which we sift our acquaintances. Those too big to pass through are our friends.” — Arlene Francis There are all kinds of reasons why trouble tends to isolate us from others.  Many long to reach out to people in difficulty, but find it emotionally taxing to be present during the trials …

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In spite of all

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all.  And so today I still have a dream.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr.  The Trumpet of Conscience, 1968 Today we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and …

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Substantive heroism

“Resilience, inventiveness, and survivorship– qualities often ascribed to great physicians– are reflected qualities, emanating first from those who struggle with illness and only then mirrored by those who treat them. If the history of medicine is told through the stories of doctors, it is because their contributions stand in place of the more substantive heroism …

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Vitally appealing

“The emotional energy created by the critical illness of a child is unlike anything else in a family. The medical situation devours much of the family’s life and leaves its mark on everyone involved: parents and siblings, grandparents and friends. Passions are generated, enormous resources are called upon, any moment can suddenly turn into a …

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Fuel for our journey

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” — Kenji Miyazawa That sounds like a good idea to me.  However, it may be difficult to implement.  As fuels go, pain is an expensive one.  And it’s not particularly clean-burning, either. Still, there are times when we don’t have much choice.  It …

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As if I was not afraid

“There were all kinds of things I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to ‘mean’ horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid.” — Theodore Roosevelt “Make believe you’re brave And the trick will take you far. You may be as brave …

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No beauty without pain

“If we’re lucky we have a long time to consider what beauty means. One thing I know: there is no beauty without pain. Beauty flourishes on sorrow. It’s enriched by the knowledge that life is fleeting, sometimes cruel, and often ends without resolution.” – Diane Keaton One of my favorite spots in the Caribbean is …

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Gift of love

Your gift of love, they crucified They laughed and scorned Him as He died The humble King they named a fraud And sacrificed the Lamb of God.  — Twila Paris This Easter weekend, I am going to quote verses from some hymns I love that seem especially fitting for this season.  Of all the most …

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Blessed thought

“He leadeth me:  O blessed thought!  O words with heavenly comfort fraught!  Whate’er I do, where’er I be, still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.” — Joseph H. Gilmore This old hymn, which its author said was written during “the darkest hour of the Civil War,” has always been a favorite of mine.  I have …

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Out of suffering

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” — Kahlil Gibran This photo is rather odd, but it seems fitting as a symbol for where Jeff is now, in a place of past nightmares and trauma, somehow surviving (thus far) life-threatening complications and tremendous pain, holding on …

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Alchemy in sorrow

“Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.” — Pearl S. Buck I believe that true optimism must include comprehension of the role sorrow plays in all our lives.  A positive outlook is not a form …

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Being peace

“It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.” — Thich Nhat Hanh The tragedy is that the world is a very broken place, and probably always will be so.  The beauty is …

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