I was talking with Tina last night, and sharing and praying, and I remembered one of my favorite allegorical books. I reread it last night and this morning, and have a few quotes to share about Sorrow and Suffering, the companions the Great Shepherd chose for little, lame, crippled, Much-Afraid for her journey to the High Places.
Go with Sorrow and Suffering, and if you cannot manage alone, put your hands in theirs confidently and they will take you exactly where I want you to go.
You know, Shepherd, it makes a great difference in my feelings toward [Sorrow and Suffering] not to look upon them with dread, but as friends who want to help me. It seems ridiculous, but sometimes I get the feeling that they really love me and want to go with me.
"Oh no!" they laughed, "We are no more Sorrow and Suffering than you are Much-Afraid. Don't you know that everything that comes to the High Places is transformed. Since you brought us here with you, we are turned into Joy and Peace"
Suffering and Sorrow may not enter the Kingdom of Love, but each time you accepted us and put your hands in ours we began to change. Had you turned back or rejected us, we never could have come here.
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
This God is my strong refuge
and has made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure upon the heights.
2 Samuel 22:32-34 (also Psalm 18:31-33)