I was listening to a Focus on the Family podcast about perinatal hospice, and the struggle with the family's faith while they prepared for the death of their unborn child. And being a historian I thought about the countless stories in the past of stillborn and infant death and the families in the Anglo speaking world's (sticking with the material I know) pain, suffering and loss; a particular pain that is less felt among middle class Christians in America.
I love the community of saints, those throughout time and space who worship our G-d, who have suffered. Some suffering is unique to their particular place and time, as I doubt few people will have to go through what some of their early martyrs had to endure. But with demands of a bigger and more controlling government over everyday life, I can imagine it could return in another form.
The Christians of the past who maintained the faith provide me strength. So do the saints of the present who point to Christ and help me find my way to him also support my walk. It is not only in their success but mainly in their suffering. I think of Barbara, the mother of my husband's old landlord, who lost her sight after a stroke of some sort. She accepted this with such grace, saying it wasn't what she wanted but what G-d willed. She remained cheerful and strong through the various other health challenges age brought her family.
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