7 Suffering Takes

It’s Friday, and that means Takes
One
If you’re looking for a good workout, Kelly is on fire today and you’ll totally want to sign up for her plan. I had been all excited about the seven minute workout (remember, 25 minutes is too long, 7 minutes has the potential to be just about right) but I replaced that by becoming chronically and undiagnosably ill and dropping my Christmas pounds just by breathing. It’s the best weight loss plan ever. But the 7 Minute Workout isn’t lost. Now I lie, prone, on the couch, and hold my phone aloft like a rock star and the children jump enthusiastically around in a nauseatingly healthy way. It’s actually the best thing to beat back the winter blues. I love watching my minuscule seven year old plank. She planks like a boss. (I’ve started adding, “like a boss” to the end of every sentence but I don’t really know where this expression came from or what it means, still, it sounds so great.)

Two
If I were going to work out, this is how I would do it. Pretty sure this is a metaphor for the Christian life but I can’t quite put my finger on it’s deeper meaning.
Three
For the first time ever, Good Shepherd people are at the Right to Life March. So impressed with them all and praying they have a brilliant time.
Four
On a more important note (that’s a joke) if you are reading my book and have any feeling about it at all, either for good or ill, and feel so inclined, I’d be delighted if you’d leave me an Amazon review. Or not, just shove the book into your couch and leave an Amazon review about the Bible instead.
Five
My conscience was stricken, the other night, that I have been sitting quietly on some useful information that might do lots of other people some good. And, as I’ve said before, I’m a giver not a taker, so I want to correct this grave error right now. So, if you are in the way of having cats, and you’ve been too tender hearted to declaw them, and they have destroyed every beautiful piece of furniture that you have, so you have chucked it all into a heap of broken dreams and gotten really beautiful new furniture, what you do is gather a lot of bedsheets and every night, before you go to bed, you cover all your beautiful furniture, so that it looks like you are a. Victorian and b. going on a long journey. Then every morning you uncover and fold all the sheets and then you sit in the living room and scream at any cat that produces a claw. You also argue with your husband about the relative merits of having cats with claws and you try to impress on him that life is about suffering, and it’s important to spend time, money, and attention even on those creatures and people who appear to continue to hate you, even though you give them saucers of milk all the time. See the above metaphor of the Christian life.

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Six
All kidding aside, it’s so important to know how to suffer as a Christian, and to suffer along with other people. I ran again this week into that hideous idea that suffering is the result of not having enough faith. That is just So Untrue, horribly untrue. Suffering is an essential part of relating to God. It’s because the distance between the human and divine is so great, I think, but also because in the Christian life, you aren’t supposed to escape suffering, you’re supposed to look up and look around and see that Jesus is there with you in your suffering. I just came to Jacob wrestling with the angel all night, and then the angel putting out his hip. Jacob’s not a young spring chicken by this time. He’s had some kids, he’s worked hard, he doesn’t just bounce back. Instead he goes limping into the dawn with a new name, forever hurt by this wrestling with the divine. Well, not forever. Just until his body undergoes the more profound suffering of death. If you ever find yourself tempted to say to someone, “maybe you’ve done something wrong,” or “maybe you don’t have enough faith,” instead just bite down hard on your own tongue and try to examine the reality of the cross. Suffering, however great or small, is an essential experience of the Christian. You don’t have to go looking for it, but if you find that you’re wrestling and struggling with God, don’t let go, his blood is enough to heal all your ills and suffering.
Seven
And on that note I will hobble downstairs and console myself with some healthy yoghurt, sob. Really feel like modern food is beginning to resemble ancient Roman cuisine–interesting, in other words, but not tempting enough to eat. Go check out more Takes and have as good a weekend as you can bear to have, or not. There’s no law saying you have to be having a good time. Pip pip!

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