The title of this posting is the first line in M. Scott Peck’s book “The Road Less Traveled.”  Life is difficult.  Some problems do not go away.  They seem to move in, and demand residence in your home, heart, mind, or body.  Your life becomes difficult, and you get to decide either to work through the pain or forever live with a barrier to transformation of your being.[1]  There is a lovely little verse I memorized as a 10-year old.  “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2).  These few words invite us to reach out, come along side, maybe even carry the load for a bit because we are loved by God and we love God.  So here is the question for today – can you be the person who reaches out when someone else’s life is difficult?

She was finally pregnant. Long awaited, the child was conceived.  Joy-filled moments and celebrated news.  And then a call.  (Life’s toughest moments are often framed with phone calls.)  Heartbreak rang in her voice.  There is no longer a heartbeat.  The pregnancy is over at 14 weeks.  How can this be happening?  How did God let this happen?  Why would God do this to us?

I walked down the street knowing I was entering a pain-filled house, reaching out to two souls whose despair took their breath away, and they were wondering where God was when this beloved grandchild stopped growing in the womb. 

Who walks in when the news is beyond one’s capacity of understanding?  Who walks in after the body is carried out the front door? 

Someone who knows pain.  Someone who has lived through their own life-shattering day.  Someone who knows life is difficult.  Generally, the one who shows up is someone who has had a day that still causes them to wonder – how did I survive?  See, this same someone who knows where God is when hearts stop beating, when young people die, when cancer is not healed, when the dream job ends before it begins.  These people who show up when the pain has leveled you, also know God never never ever moves away from us.  They know nothing, absolutely nothing separates us from God’s love.  Nothing.  You are held by Love. 

Photo by Evan Johnson

[1] M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A new psychology of love, traditional values and spiritual growth,  (New York:  Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1978), 30.