The mystery of suffering.
"Christ did not come into the world to eliminate suffering. Christ has not even come into the world to explain it. Rather, He came to fill human suffering with His presence." -- Fr George Calciu
"Suffering is a fish bone . You can’t eat it or understand it. You just put it on the side of your plate, knowing you’ll understand it better by and by." --Martha Henry (the first person I met when we moved to Cincinnati when I was 5 years old)
James 1:2 "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds..."
Drinking the cup of affliction is a prominent theme this week.
I used to think I was scholar athlete. I thought I could fly like St Michael. This week I became a patient.
I saw these gorgeous flowers that I wanted for the church. I went up high on a ridge at my house to get "a donation." I had watered the ridge before I went up high. As I was coming down, I grabbed the pear tree limb to swing like Tarzan over the slippery wet ridge and land on the ground. I landed on my right ankle instead....a slight miscalculation. I broke it. Suddenly, I had pain more intense than childbirth.
I thanked God for my unexpected suffering. I asked God why. He knows how much I have to do this week. Clearly, I must submit to some new marching orders. I told God that I knew I deserved much worse. I now have to accept help from others for a month.
St Mark the Ascetic: Christ's love is "pain of heart endured in the spirit of devotion."
The bright side is that I don't have to wear high heels for a month.
Thank you, Lord, for saving me again.
From Carla the former flying gardener
Carla Thomas is an emergency room physician in Anniston, Alabama. She also runs a free clinic in a neighboring town.
The icon shows the Forty Martyrs of Heraclea in Greece. They are Adamantine, Athena, Akrive, Antigone, Arivoea, Aspasia, Aphrodite, Dione, Dodone, Elpinike, Erasmia, Erato, Ermeneia, Euterpe, Thaleia, Theano, Theano, Theonymphe, Theophane, Kalliroe, Kalliste, Kleio, Kleonike, Cleopatra, Koralia, Lambro, Margarita, Marianthe, Melpomene, Moscho, Ourania, Pandora, Penelope, Polymnia, Polynike, Sappho, Terpsichore, Troada, Haido, and Harikleia--and Deacon Ammoun.