There are some sufferings so awful that no person or thing on earth can fix them.  Some pain runs so deep that while it can’t be easily fixed, it can certainly be eased with the love, kindness, and support of others.  Love and support are always within people’s capacity (given they don’t have a personality disorder) and yet it is so often the exact opposite of what people offer.  Many even choose to add to the pain.

Oh friends…this should not be so.

Someone comes to you in agonizing, debilitating pain.  Their life has been turned upside down and they don’t know what to do.  Maybe they’re flooded with fear and uncertainty.  Maybe they have been a victim of trauma and suffer with flashbacks or panic attacks.  Maybe they’ve been betrayed and abandoned and don’t know who to trust.  Maybe they’re suffering with spiritual attacks of all types and kinds.  Maybe they’re in emotional and mental darkness and can’t see a light at the end of their dark tunnel.

They reach out to friends for hope.  For encouragement.  For a word of knowledge.  But with the judgement and condemnation of a seasoned Pharisee, they receive a message of rejection and condemnation.  They’re dismissed, or told they’re making it up in their heads, or that they’re making themselves unhappy, or that it’s their fault for one reason or another.

Coldness.  Blame.  Rejection.  …these were Job’s friends, too.

I honestly don’t know what’s worse.  The trauma that breaks…no…shatters your soul…or those you counted as a friend turning their back when you need them most.

If life has taught me anything, it’s that truly Christlike people are both rare and precious. They are truly bright lights that shine into the darkest of places and should never be taken for granted.  If God uses our sufferings to prevent us from being like the ignorant religious people who cowardly blame victims for their suffering and looking away from the evil and injustice being done, then I will be grateful for it and consider it as love.

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