“I have seen suffering make heroes of some of my children.
The strength with which they endure their pain is a shining example to all.
But sometimes, child, suffering is only suffering.
It seems gratuitous.
It feels meaningless.
It teaches nothing.
It brings no gifts.
It just is.
It just is and you feel alone,
You think I have gone
So you run.
Your mind skitters away from the hurt.
Your body shrinks away from the pain.
Your heart tries to shut itself against the suffering.
I see you run.
You don’t believe that I am with you.
But I am there.
When you stop running from the pain
And turn to face it,
When you can step into the agony and let it be,
When you can turn to your own suffering and know its name,
Then you will see me.
You will see me in the heart of it with you.
It doesn’t matter if your body is wracked by pain
Or your mind is spiraling through aches and anguish.
When you stop running you will see me.
I will not forsake you.
I cannot abandon you.
You are not alone.
I am with you.”
-God, through the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu
(Made for Goodness, 109-110)