Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pain and suffering, kindness and love

A South African landscape
Artist: Rosa Hope

I think I was sixteen when I first read Cry, The Beloved Country and it had a profound and lasting effect on me. I offer you the following today:

— This world is full of trouble, umfundisi.

— Who knows it better?

— Yet you believe?

Kumalo looked at him under the light of the lamp. I believe, he said, but I have learned that it is a secret. Pain and suffering, they are a secret. Kindness and love, they are a secret. But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering. There is my wife, and you, my friend, and these people who welcomed me, and the child who is so eager to be with us here in Ndotsheni – so in my suffering I can believe.

— I have never thought that a Christian would be free of suffering, umfundisi. For our Lord suffered. And I come to believe that he suffered, not to save us from suffering, but to teach us how to bear suffering. For he knew that there is no life without suffering.

Kumalo looked at his friend with joy. You are a preacher, he said.

-- Alan Paton


  1. Beautiful post Ellie, and how true. To teach us how to bear suffering....and to walk with us through it. We are never alone. Thanks for this wisdom.

  2. Thanks indeed, Ellie. I love the paragraph about suffering.


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