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Thursday, July 25, 2013

I Had Seen Suffering

I had seen suffering
But I never knew it
In my soul

Had been around       
Homelessness and hunger
Drugs and domestic abuse
Divorce and babies dying of cancer

And was always told
Help where you can
Show them God’s love
So that’s what I did
In tangible ways
Soup kitchens and walks for hunger
Playing with kids at family shelters
Volunteering wherever there was a need

But I didn’t really think about
The mental toll
Of suffering

How disappointed the homeless must feel
How angry the hungry at another day
            Of having a basic need unmet
How helpless the drug addict
How worthless the abused
How scared the divorced
How betrayed the surviving parents
            Of a baby lost slowly to cancer

Never thought of
How all those feelings
Shape
How self is viewed
How God is viewed
 
What would convince a homeless person
That “His eye is on the sparrow”

How can the hungry reconcile God’s love
With his lack of provision

How can those trapped in addiction
Believe God cares for them

Where would the abused
Learn her worth

How can the abandoned
Trust that God’s love doesn’t end

Why would grieving parents ever believe
Jesus loves the little children

I had seen suffering
But did not understand
Its depth

Didn’t stop long enough to consider
That if it was me
In any of these situations
I would have needed more
From my faith than it could give

Maybe I didn’t want to understand it
Or maybe I couldn’t have understood it then
But I can now

I had seen suffering
But now I know suffering
And I know now the importance
Of both meeting the need
And acknowledging the pain