All is stripped away from us by the circumstances and experience of severe illness . The pain of the Cross is very real. The sacrifice of the one who loves is immense, the carer who loves and stays despite the pain and torment he both sees and feels, is ravaged daily by the storms of the Cross.
The love, the open-heart of the carer for the beloved is a wound that brings forth the greatest compassion and untold wisdom in the world of suffering. It brings clear sight of injustice and calls for the need for Truth and Integrity on the path ahead.
The sufferer too lies pinioned in pain on the Cross with Christ. Each throb of pain is an onslaught and a torture.
Each moment of inability, of incapacitating paralysis, breathlessness, is a moment of shared anguish with the Lord.
Each second of spreading numbness, pushes the sufferer further away from the world and closer to heaven. Each exquisite level of torture played out on the person with Severe ME is a part of the suffering Christ on the Cross. There is no separation from the hurt of the world, for the Lord, the carer, the sufferer, all are bound in agony by their experience and by their love for each other.
God loves us. Of this be certain. God knows all our pain. Of this be certain too.
We are all bound to the Cross in His intimacy of suffering.
Few remain with us.
Few remain, yet all are loved. We hold to the Cross. We cling to each other and spiritually our need is great. Our hearts are all open. For whom can we turn to in such suffering other than to God ?
Even if it feels like He has abandoned us, this not so. We cannot always bear nor understand the level of distress and pain we suffer, yet we can hold fast to the truth.
We can bear our suffering with love at the centre. We can know in all certainty that even if we know not how we will cope yet still we will cope., and more than this, great gifts of goodness, great spiritual blessings, will flow from our steadfastness to love.
And that is all we must focus on. The Heart of Love, feeling our pain, becoming our pain, being all pain. And finally the Heart of Love healing all pain.
We may not feel healed. We may not feel God's presence, even in the darkest depths of suffering, yet truly the Light of the World is with us and He bears all hurt for all time and as we enter too into this mystery with Him, so we are all saved.
For Love, though it appears to fail on the Cross of Good Friday will ultimately triumph and leads us always on to the Glory of God, to Light, to Healing, to Hope, to Mercy.
Thus we can say with all certainty, Come Lord Jesus Come. Take my suffering, take my heart and use it for Love's greater purpose. May we save as you save, to be a beacon of light to the world and if by chance our suffering can ease your burden in even the smallest of ways Lord, let it be so. Amen.