I know nothing of suffering

with 2 comments

My father prepared me for his death from the time I was 7 years old. When, at 15, it happened, I still could not contain my screams which echoed off the walls of a hospital waiting room filled with aunts and uncles and my mother. I know nothing of suffering.

I demanded to see him, to feel his body one last time. I needed to touch him to believe it. I helped to choose his coffin and he was buried three days later, mourned by daughter, wife, friends he touched, and a son. I know nothing of suffering.

I am a father now and imagine the terror of my father sensing death’s immanence, about to leave a wife, a daughter, a son. I imagine the shear sadness of knowing you are dying and it is not the idea of your own death, but the idea of not being with those whom you love. I know nothing of suffering.

I have stood in the room with my wife’s dying father. I have watched death transform the glittering gaze of my spouse into a dull, drawn, darkness directly descended from the deceased. I know nothing of suffering.

I have laid beside my wife’s sadness watching her soul ebb and flow with memory and longing for her father, as I churned with memories of my own. I know nothing of suffering.

I have watched my family’s sudden and subtle shifts as a grandmother, a friend, an uncle, a grandmother, a grandfather, pass away with each year. Death’s disorganization requires re-alignment of rote roles. I know nothing of suffering.

I know of sadness, of deep, abiding sadness and whether 40 days or 40 months, I know I should let go and allow each to ascend so the Spirit can arrive and anoint me.

“then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.” Acts 4:10


Written by RobHatch

March 16, 2008 at 5:05 am

Posted in suffering

Tagged with , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Soul-wrenchingly powerful and beautiful, Rob…Thank you.

    Grateful with you (I sense gratitude here) for the healing resurrection power of God’s Holy Spirit…


    March 16, 2008 at 6:10 am

  2. Beautifully written, Rob. It brought to mind this Scripture: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings…” (Philippians 3:20). As followers of Christ, we tend to like the first part of that verse a lot better than the second. To truly experience resurrection power in our daily lives, however, we must be willing to experience the fellowship of sharing in suffering.

    Connie Reece

    March 17, 2008 at 9:27 am

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