Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Just walked in the door from 8 days in beautiful Boulder, Colorad0. (pictures to follow) Lots of down time--enough to have read 5 books. One book in particular captivated my attention and I found myself scribbling quotes from it every 10 pages or so. It is "The God I Love" by Joni Eareckson Tada. For those not familiar, she was the woman rendered quadriplegic in 1967 at the tender age of 18 as a result of a diving accident. A movie was made about her life and she has written several books over the years. This book is her memoir.
Throughout the book she's very candid about the intense struggles she went through to keep her faith in a "good God who would allow this kind of suffering". She's a wonderful storyteller with a contagious desire to know God deeper and understand the ultimate purpose of the pain in her life.
In one of the last few chapters she gives an account of a trip to the poverty ravaged parts of Africa. While there to bring donated wheelchairs on behalf of her organization, she is blown away by the unwavering faith of those who have so little. She says, "It's so different in America, I thought. In the West, we think God exists to make our lives happy, more meaningful and trouble free. 'Suffering' is a hateful word, and we do anything to eradicate it, medicate it, circumvent it or divorce it." p. 298 OUCH!!
I could not get those words out of my mind. As I pondered on this I had a convicting thought: "If I really think about it, the truth is that I spend most of my time either seeking pleasure or avoiding suffering." How about you?


2 Responses to “Suffering”

shelley davis said...

Hi Dana,
So glad to hear that you went to Colorado and had a good time.
Isn't it amazing through Joni's suffering she has touched so many of us. I love her. I heard her speak at a Women of Faith conference. She is an inspiration.
Have a wonderful few days that are left of summer enjoying those precious boys.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for marking the source in your quote of Joni. I wish more people would do it!