Sitting in the Suffering
Written by: Caitlyn Shows, Intern
As Christians there are many common threads that bind us all together.
There is one thread in particular that truly allows us to dig deeper into being “one” with the body of Christ. This specific thread is suffering.
1 Corinthians 12:26 says, “If one member suffers, all suffer together…” not just suffering in sin but also suffering in truth.
My first week at Open Doors I was immersed into a culture where persecution and suffering for Christ is the norm and sometimes even rejoiced in. This context baffled me. Who would be thankful for suffering in persecution?
On my third day in the office, I sat and read many stories about those that suffer in persecution as Christians. I was taken by a specific story about a man in Bangladesh who stepped out of his home into his community to share about his faith, knowing, that if he’d been caught he would be tortured, thrown in jail or murdered. That afternoon he was brutally murdered on his way home. Sitting there in my comfortably safe office space, I couldn’t help but weep in confusion. I haven’t even met him and yet I felt so much pain. I went back to 1 Corinthians 12:26 and read it again, “If one member suffers, all suffer together, if one member is honored all rejoice together.” How? I have never experienced nor comprehended this type of suffering . So, how do I honor it and then eventually rejoice in the suffering that he and many others have and are experiencing?
That afternoon I sat in the suffering of those that I read about that day. I remembered Romans 12 and I sat in silence and wept for those who gave their lives as a humble act in serving Christ. I honored them by grieving and praying for their families. I also rejoiced in the truth that he told to many before he died and prayed that all who heard would help grow the Kingdom of God. As a new volunteer, I have come to the conclusion that this concept of “sitting in the suffering” of others is a foreign concept in our society. It is uncomfortable to us because we might not have the time or commitment that it takes. I hope that we as Christians can soon grasp this concept and join the body as they suffer for the truth.