My grandkids have been here. Talk about joy! We didn’t quite make it to mud pie-building, but we did a lot of other fun stuff. (By the way, the Mandalori-annes edged out the Er-Lebs for Olympic gold!)

A beloved friend, however, is suffering greatly. When you love someone dearly, there’s joy, suffering, and everything in between.

Woody Allen once said, “To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love.” And we nod and laugh, because it hits a little too close to home. If I had a nickel for every sleepless night I’ve had over the people I love, I’d be rich indeed. But if I didn’t love, I’d be an empty shell. Skin with no guts.

Here’s another thing about suffering. Politics. Have you EVER suffered this much over politics?

Gotta hand it to suffering. It does keep us engaged.

This kind of suffering is part of life.
We love. We suffer.
We care about our country. We suffer.

But beyond love and country, almost all of us will experience the darkness of grief at some point. An elderly friend of mine suffers from constant pain. “Pain is my friend,” she says. There is a metamorphosis that can happen, I’ve heard. Grief and pain might never go away but can turn into something to hold in one’s heart, a signature color of one’s life. For some, that’s a color the eye can’t even begin to see.

I find that the more I accept inevitable suffering into my life (rather than shun it), I live more deeply. I find peace that surpasses understanding. I experience in my gut what it means to trust God, who is, after all, Love itself (1st John chapter 4), even when we’re suffering. There’s more to the story than meets the eye.

As I’ve said many times before, I believe Love will win. I’m betting all the marbles on that, whether in the good times or bad times or all the times in between.

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