"People generally suffer, and respond to suffering, as themselves, as who they are. It is rare that they are transformed by devastation and loss. They are instead intensified by it, italicized by it: they become more like themselves..." - Leon Wieseltier
I’m still thinking about this...
At first I thought, “Yes!”
But now I’m wondering how it fits with my some of my favorite Bible passages – the ones that have hung on the laundry room door ever since we moved into our house sixteen years ago. (And probably were hanging somewhere in the house we left.)
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. - Romans 5:3-4
And these verses (also on the laundry room door) that my husband gave be when we were engaged 37 years ago:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. - James 1:2-4
Of course Mr. Wieseltier’s words do fit with all those refining verses… Psalm 66:10, Isaiah 48:10, Daniel 11:35 and 12:10, 1 Peter 1:7, etc.
I’m still processing…
In the meantime, the one thing I’m sure of is suffering – uncomfortable circumstances – is a fact of life. And in these hard times and straightened circumstances I want to choose joy.