I stand front door and knock. My humble efforts of delivering a meal and a hug is my way of reaching out and providing joy amidst a difficult circumstance.
This year I find myself on the other side of the door. I’m not accustomed to being the one served. I am not accustomed to being in need. I have learned the deep camaraderie of community in shared suffering.
The Church was founded on the community of suffering. Paul spoke of shared suffering when he wrote:
“The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV)
There are two sides to a door and two sides of suffering. Inside the closed door, suffering suffocates our logical senses leaving us exposed to feelings of inadequacy and isolation. I’ve learned when generosity knocks, to open the door to my heart to receive help from others.
Are you living outside the door? Praise the Lord suffering is not your current season, then share in someone’s suffering by knocking on their heart’s door.
I reached out to others who found themselves on the other side of the door. They understand the community of suffering. Here a snap shot of their thoughts:
I had many people do special things for me when I was going through my cancer
battle. Someone paid for the kid’s school lunch for the entire year. I received money in the mail with just a note that God laid it on their heart to give and they did not include a name or return address. I also received Christmas gifts for my kids through the school that someone had donated and told them to bless a family in need that year. I received so many cards of encouragement too. It seemed like I receive something at a time when I needed the most. God was so good to me and continues to be. —Leslie
I think 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 sums it. Paul knows both sides of the sufferings and allowing others to come along side us. It blesses, comforts, and makes a Christian grow when we are taken out of our safe place and are obedient to our Father to Christ and to the Holy Spirit. It is a prideful thing when we hang on to our sufferings and not allow ourselves to be humble and not let someone come along side us. God might be preparing hearts for some event in His fullness of time. —Redd.
We were not meant to walk this journey alone. Generosity during shared suffering takes on many forms.
How can you share in someone’s suffering in your community today?
Suffering from giver’s block? A Little Something: The Language of Friendship is an article packed with ideas.
Photos courtesy Pixabay.com