To the Suffering: A Holiday Message of Love
As I write this Christmas post, my heart is heavy as I’m reminded of the millions of Iraqi/Syrian refugees that will be spending this season away from their homes and families. I’m also reminded of the Palestinian mothers who will be spending this season missing their sons/daughters who have been killed in the latest round of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
But then I remember: God became flesh to dwell among us, and to go through every human experience that we may go through. He went through trials and temptations; He experienced the worst kind of pain, suffering, rejection, hate, betrayal, and even death! He was stripped from his own clothes, spat on, and denied by His closest friends.
In life, we go through so many struggles.
As women who live in a patriarchal society, we are vulnerable to so much pain and suffering. There are countless stories of women who have been cheated on, rejected by society because they’re not married, can’t have children, or have suffered a trauma from losing a child, a husband, or a family member. These women probably think: Where is God? Where was He when I was being raped? Where was He when my son got shot on his way to school? Where was He when the army raided our home and took my husband to jail? Where was he when my house was demolished right in front of my eyes?”
These thoughts and doubts are a normal reaction to the pain that so many women around us suffer from. However, I believe that our message during this season, as women who have experienced God’s love, to women who may have never experienced such love, is: God isn’t only close; He has also experienced every suffering that you have gone through, and worse.
God couldn’t handle staying in heaven, watching as humanity suffered from being far from God. He had to send His one and only son, to be born like us, live like us, and experience death like us. He knows how it feels to be betrayed, to lose someone you love, to be stripped of all your belongings, to witness death. He experienced all of that, before we ever did-”For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Good News is: Christ didn’t only live and die like humans, but He rose on the third day, to defeat death, and to give us the power to defeat death, if we believe in Him!
The best thing we could do during this season is to communicate this Good News to a world that is full of suffering, even in the smallest things that we do, like giving out chocolates to children, inviting women over to decorate the Christmas tree, or providing a hot meal to a needy family. This will bring joy to suffering women, renewing their faith in a loving God who is familiar with their pain.