Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Compassion from Five Black Cows ~ 3

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise renews my life.  Psalms 119:50
Straight from the frozen tundra...oh, no, that's not New Mexico! I hate to complain, as we're nowhere close to being bad off here--except for the lack of heat for many PNM customers in the state.  But it's beginning to feel like the ground has decided to stay frozen for a while longer. We didn't get the snow that was expected last night, so that gives me hope for a warmer Valentine's Day weekend. 

This is the third installment for Chapter 24 from Meeting God in Quiet Places: the Cotswold Parables  by F. LaGard Smith. Sometimes the ideas in these chapters have so much of value in them that I don't want to rush through them. The whole idea of five black cows feeling so much compassion that they followed LaGard as he limped his way across their field sounds prepostrous! But remember--they had never even taken notice of him in all the times he had done exactly the same thing. So it was a little odd when LaGard, after having made the decision to see a doctor, had a spontaneous healing of his knee after the cows came running after him. Whether we can make any sense of it or not, the point is that if those cows can feel that something is wrong and they want to help, why can't we believe that our Creator knows how we're feeling and wants to help? 

Moving past that part of the story, I mentioned yesterday that God's comfort is one of those "pass-it-on" things. And that means you are responsible for comforting others. Yes, you! It isn't always easy when the situation is a couple who lost their child. Or when a mate has died too early. Or when an older person is left to fend for themselves because death comes to all. But part of our love for others should, at the very least, include expessions of sympathy during these hard times.

And death isn't the only time our friends need comfort. I've heard that a divorce is worse than death. I'm sure you know people who are divorced and hurting. A disease like cancer is so devastating that it drains life of all happiness long before the person is gone. Just ask my sister-in-law Carolyn. Watching pain and anguish is an excruciating way to go through day after weary day. Words of comfort from you can make a difference. You can't make things all right. You can't change the situation. But you can bring comfort to those who need it.  
If you find words difficult at times like these, just sit in silence and lend your encouragement without them. Give a hug or a kiss to express your understanding that even though they're going through a heartwrenching experience, you are there for are with them. Let them know that they're not going through the pain alone. And remind them that God has sent angels of mercy who are close by. Don't sit around wondering what to say...sit around feeling their pain and sharing their grief. 
And this idea brings up silence from God when we have pain and suffering in our own lives. We may cry out for answers and receive only silence. But that doesn't mean that God doesn't hear and suffer in silence with us. His comfort doesn't always come in the form of healing or even answers. Both the pain and the circumstances may continue. But just knowing that God is there with you in every circumstance is enough. 
LaGard says: "I could be wrong about the five black cows. What cow would ever think, 'Let's walk with the old guy for a while?' But what a comforting thought: God sensing everything that impacts our lives, and walking along with us--no matter how slight the limp, no matter how serious the suffering." Whoo...whoooooo! Do we realize what we've got?

I enjoyed this light-hearted look all the connections between our lives on this planet and the Creator who made us and cares for us in so many ways--even little ways, if we only stop to see them. I hope you were able to gain some strength for your life. And I hope you're warm and happy today!


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