Suffering as Friends

Great wisdom in Ross Douthat's April 2014 essay "The Pandemic and the Will of God", subtitled, "The purpose of suffering may be mysterious, but the search for meaning is obligatory" — especially in the observation:

... Because we are not Jesus, it is a very bad idea to walk around telling strangers how their suffering might display the works of God. But as friends, we can participate in others' discernment and pattern-seeking, and we can try to discern purposes in our own life — suffering as punishment, suffering as refinement, suffering as a judgment on a nation or society, suffering as an opportunity, suffering as part of a story not our own. ...

... especially in "suffering as an opportunity"!

(cf Softening into Experience (2012-11-12), Mindfulness for Beginners (2013-07-18), Four Mantras (2014-06-26), Buddhism and Suffering (2015-01-18), Edgeless Sea of Compassion (2015-10-10), Mantra - Don't Be the Fixer (2017-01-19), Mantra - Forgiven (2016-08-02), ...) - ^z - 2020-04-28