Week 26: Suffering (1)

My two weeks rest turned into a six weeks absence!  My apologies for neglecting this blog! The trip to Ukraine was mixed with joy and sadness. Joy at seeing so many of our wonderful friends, sadness of not being able to be in Donetsk due to the violence–sadness that so many are suffering and hurting, sadness that there are brothers and sisters fighting each other. Please continue to pray for the peace of Ukraine!


  • Recite Psalms 130 & 131
  • Moment of silence

Presence through the word

  • Psalm reading (selected from below)
    • Morning:         Psalm 88
    • Noon:               Psalm 6
    • Vespers:          Psalm 42
    • Night:               Psalm 73
  • Moment of Silence
  • Scripture readings:
    • Monday:          Job 1
    • Tuesday:         Job 2:1-10
    • Wednesday:    Job 2:11-13
    • Thursday:       Job 3
    • Friday:            Job 6:1-23
  • Moment of Silence

Practicing the presence

Life is difficult. The sooner we realize this the sooner life becomes more manageable. But some suffering seems irredeemable. Some suffering seems so harsh that how can this ever be redemptive?

Perhaps we can never know in this life. While suffering is universal and the “thing we fear the most” will come to us all, we still suffer in different degrees.

To put perspective on your own personal experience of suffering, seek out this week those who are hurting. You may want to visit a nursing home, a hospital, the sick in your congregation, or volunteer to do some work in a homeless shelter or children’s home.

When you go–be like Job’s friends at the end of chapter 2 (this is the only time I’d recommend following their examples!): go in silence. Do not offer advice or suggestions about why people suffer. Instead seek to suffer with.

The Greek word translated sympathy means literally “to feel with.” Our word sympathy has lost this meaning–this fits more the word empathy. As you go to serve others this week, go with the intent of attempting to feel with those you serve–rather than feel sorry for them.


  • Prayers of thanksgiving and petition
  • Journaling or silent reflection
  • “The Lord’s Prayer”

About Darryl Willis

Darryl has been working for non-profits for over 36 years. His current work takes him to Ukraine several times a year. He has fallen in love with the country and the people. Darryl writes poetry and his work has appeared in several online and print journals.
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