Outside, the rain is falling gently. The sound that wraps my soul in comfort. I can't explain why. While I lie safely in my bed, however, delighting in the sound of the rain, I am aware that many people are in agony. Some are dealing with the terror of war, listening to a different sound, the earth-rattling, heart-splitting sound of exploding bombs. Others are dealing with war within their homes, the violence of arguments, rage, physical or sexual abuse. Some people are fighting the war of cancer or Alzheimer's or unrelenting physical or emotional pain. Some people know they will die this night. This reality could overwhelm me with despair if I dwelt on it. I feel helpless in the face of so much suffering. I long to comfort them, to help, to heal, to comfort each one of them. I can't. So I do the only thing I can do; I commend each person to my Father who loves each one of them with a love beyond articulation. He can help them, heal them, comfort them...if only they will let Him.
These thoughts may be written from the comfort of a bed but they are not written by an idealist who has never known pain nor fear. I have been through chronic physical pain, rejection, poverty, unemployment. I have had episodes of despondency that were so overwhelming that I have had to cry out to God with my whole being just to keep getting through the next moment.
So cry out I have. Each time, He has responded to me with love, compassion, tenderness, gentleness and even humor. What suffering has taught me is that God loves me and never gives up on me, even when I am ready to give up on myself. But this lesson is not just for me. God loves you as well, even if you feel unlovable. He loves you with a love beyond imagining and beyond reason. He longs to wrap you in that love, to rock you, to soothe you, to heal you. You just have to accept His love.
In this world of anger, war, violence and disease, there are many reasons to be afraid. But tonight, as the rain continues to fall in the darkness, I give you these words, "Do not be afraid, Beloved." You are loved. Accept it. Be loved. Rest in that love and awake to a new life, not one in which all pain and suffering will have been magically removed, but one in which you never are alone. And always, you are loved. Be loved.