I Haven’t Been There

Musing… yesterday’s conversations… Alice has been through a messy divorce… Erin’s been in pain for years and awaiting surgery… Andy’s wife has a mental health problem… Paul suffers with M.E… Daphne’s daughter is not expected to live much longer…

I listen carefully. I try to understand. But I haven’t been there.

This morning’s paper: ‘Emily Thurston who has lived with multiple sclerosis (MS) for the last 12 years, explains her frustration at media coverage of the Queen’s recent health.’

Emily writes with passion and personal experience about ‘the damaging misconceptions surrounding disability.’

Should the Queen should use a wheelchair in public? ‘Too much time is given to people who know nothing of what it is to have a disability but are intent on giving their banal opinion.’

Musing… I haven’t been there… I listen to Emily… I try to understand.

Reading ‘Heaven Come Down – The story of a transgender disciple’ by Chrissie Chevasutt. Musing… how different friends would respond… positive interest… critical judgement… avoidance… disinterest… misunderstanding…

Reading the foreword: Chrissie Chevasutt… driven by self-hatred… running away to India… drowning out the pain in drugs and alcohol… becoming the pastor in a transphobic evangelical church…

‘But it’s also a story of redemption; of how her remarkable partner Pam’s love for her, and her own faith, brought her to accept her trans identity as a gift from God.’

Musing… I haven’t been there… I’ll try to understand… I don’t know how I’ll respond…

I’m reading the Bible story of Job… home and possessions destroyed… family killed… debilitating illness… criticism from wife and friends, depression, isolation…

I haven’t been there, but I try to understand

In the middle of his suffering, wrestling with his God he exclaims: ‘I know that my Redeemer lives, and in the end he will stand upon the earth…’

Musing… Alice, Erin, Andy, Paul & Daphne… in places I haven’t been… Emily, Chrissie and Job… in unvisited adversity and weakness there is a place of strength, confidence and hope…

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