In their book, RADICAL HOSPITALITY, Father Daniel Homan and Lonni Collins Pratt tell a true story about a time when Lonni's first baby was dying of cancer. The baby was in tremendous pain, and it was gut-wrenching to even be in her presence. Lonnie needed help, however, as her husband was in the military and deployed at the time. Out of the blue, a woman named Linda, a local pastor's wife who Lonnie did not really know, showed up to help. Linda stayed with them for 48 hours even after the baby died.
Lonnie said she'll never forget that one night, Linda stood looking outside into the night. She said in a shaky voice, 'I don't understand why God allows children to suffer like this. But I know this: You can trust a God who bleeds. When you can't trust anything else, you can trust a God who bleeds.'
Linda stood beside Lonnie during the darkest time of her life. She opened her heart knowing for sure it was going to get broken. Her ability to do so grew naturally out of her deep faith in God. In the midst of great suffering, somehow she knew that a God who gave himself and who held nothing back from his creation could be trusted.
On this Good Friday, we remember that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. We can trust that in Jesus Christ God knows what it is to suffer and he walks with us even through the darkest valleys.
Let us pray: Loving God, we don't understand the brokenness of the world. Being human, we want to get our minds around it. But because we're only human, we know we can't. But we do know that on the cross, you entered into the pain and heartache of the world. And so deep down we trust that you are good. Today, I pray especially for those who are in the midst of suffering even now. Be near to them. Grant them courage and patience, and bring them healing. We ask in the name of the One who gave even his life for our sake. Amen