“We realize through our relationships with the marginalized that when one of our brothers and sisters is suffering, they cannot participate fully in that body of Christ. The glory of God is dimmed.”
This quote is one of the many we were given to contemplate before one of our retreats. I thought about it in many ways. First, I thought about my friends and family. When they are extremely stressed, they do not speak of God. The only thing they seem to be able to focus on is the dilemma at hand, and they sometimes feel like God doesn’t care about them. If this is what they feel, I can only imagine what it is like for those who truly suffer every day, from starvation, physical and emotional abuse, neglect, harassment, and many other forms of severe pain.
I then thought about responsibility for one another. Though I value independence, I value it in an interdependent manner. Everyone is part of the larger community of the human race and the world.. This quote helps it seem as though it is our responsibility to help those who cannot experience the full glory of God in their suffering. This makes it impossible to say that someone’s suffering “is not my problem.” Everyone’s suffering is my problem under this philosophy. I’m not saying that I’m going to attack everyone and cure their problems, or that it is even possible. What I am saying is that I think we are not meant to be blind and turn away to the suffering of others, but are meant to do whatever we can.