8 April 2020
Suffering with Christ
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6: 2
Caring for patients is a very important vocation, taking care of a human being with both spirit and body. The patient is a human like you, so you identify with his or her suffering. I have seen some patients whose suffering touched my depths. As I tried to see the image of God in them, I prayed to him in tears, ‘Lord, why do I see you in these circumstances? Why do you suffer so much?’ The conviction I received from him was, ‘I know my flock is suffering, but for you, as you say you love me, just show your love here.’
When we are caregivers we should know our limits – we are not God. Even in our scientific, stress-filled and competitive careers, deep down we are still human. Nevertheless, if indeed we are Christ’s disciples, we must abide by the basic principle of love, laying down our lives for others. (1 John 3: 16) We must also remember how, when Jesus heard the story of the Galileans who had suffered brutality under Pilate, he showed us his attitude towards extreme suffering. It did not mean that they had sinned (Luke 13: 1–3), or that God was not merciful.
It is vital to realise that God knows us humans better than we know ourselves.
Prayer: God our Father, you sent us our Lord Jesus to redeem us. We are bought with a price. Moreover, your Holy Spirit nourishes us in these tough times. Help us to identify with suffering people and endeavour to love them. Console us, Lord, as we weep to see your image suffer. Let us not condemn anybody, but know that your power sustains us all. Amen.
Read: Matthew 25: 31–46; 1 Corinthians 13.