We are like precious metal, our shapes sculpted by the furnace of affliction. Our suffering refines us, unites us; it brings our strengths and weaknesses to the surface. It humanizes us and binds us, revealing something about who we are.
As we connect with one another, we often become more aware of our mutual, yet unique, suffering. When we come together, it’s easy to focus on our strife, our trials, our pain. Our suffering is a common thread, a soulful piece of connectivity to one another’s journey.
And yet, our suffering is so unique, so deeply personal and private, that it may be hard to believe there’s much we can learn from our pain. We experience it so distinctively, often living in fear of it, for it has radically changed us. It has shaped us beyond the mold we recognize. It is in that realization that we can identify with one another. It is in that moment of commonality that we understand one another’s trepidation, fear and angst. It is in that moment where the touch of a hand shapes our world in a profoundly positive way.
Traveling together, we can witness one another strengthening as we work to make deliberate choices toward growth on our unique journeys. We see strength and hope in one another; we are inspired by one another. We find peace in one another’s embrace.
Understanding the “why” of suffering pales in comparison to understanding the “who” behind the suffering. The “why” matters for a time, yes, but the “who” is the precious metal, sculpted and refined from the fires of life. The “who” is you, it’s the person you passed on the road this morning, it’s the woman you sat across from today. It’s all of us, walking our journeys as best we can, living, learning and embracing. And suddenly, despite our unique paths, we find ourselves walking alongside others with whom we share so much in common.
And we are no longer alone.
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