physical suffering is a condition of life on earth.
No one is forever exempt.
There is an affliction to illness and disease
that narrows one’s vision
and diminishes one’s vitality.
There is a wounding to physical trauma of all sorts
that can hurt not just one’s body,
but one’s spirit as well.
There can be a torture
to life-changing disablement
and an agony to life-threatening disease
that can darken one’s days
and blacken one’s nights.
Yet I believe that suffering can be more than mere suffering,
And pain can be a pathway leading beyond itself
to something of abiding significance.
can be just as well
that which refines and instructs.
What is refined is one’s wisdom, one’s courage, one’s endurance.
What is instructed is one’s understanding of the
paradoxes of life:
what starts with breaking down can end with building up;
what originates with loss can terminate with gain;
what begins in fear can come to its conclusion with love.
And then times of aching can be turned into times of healing,
as struggle gives way to awareness and acceptance,
as limitation yields to a new sense of freedom and openness.
When that happens,
those who suffer can become those who are renewed,
and those who grieve can become those who are transformed.
I believe this not only can happen but it does happen.
I believe it happens here as easily as anywhere.
I believe it happens now as readily as any other time.
I believe it happens with a design and with a purpose all its own,
and it is not apart from us, but we are a part of it.
And we are a part of IT.
~James E. Miller