There are many facets to suffering and all manners and types of pain. I rank types of suffering from greatest to least in this order: spiritual, emotional, mental, then physical. Physical pain can aggravate mental, emotional and spiritual anguish. Mental and emotional suffering can and do elevate physical pain.
Spiritual suffering is the greatest of all pain as it afflicts the very soul, and the soul is the center of our being. The intellect, will, understanding, emotions and bodily senses encircle the soul as in layers surrounding our core. The soul is like the seed within. Of God’s love, it exists and grows.
Love is the truly effective antidote to any type of suffering. Love heals. Temporal means of healing come as the effect of love. For example, inspired people have discovered medications that help heal our bodies as a result of their loving desire to help their fellow man. We must utilize whatever physical means to help us heal, be it antibiotics, healthy diet, antidepressants, surgery, or not smoking, or in simple, physical exercise.
But most of all we must love. By loving God and God in others, we heal ourselves, and we heal others. We heal the type of pain that no amount of tangible medicine can touch, and that is the pain of the wounded spirit–in others, in ourselves. When we ponder love in our minds and hearts, or tangibly act in love through words and deeds, we not only provide untold healing touches upon others but there is healing going on within ourselves, as well.
No matter our physical pain and poverty, we can love. Love is a matter of priority: to choose love, to desire very much to love to learn to love.
This morning, after a night of pain at all levels, I have taken the pain meds for which I am so grateful. I have tried, also, to love in spirit and in truth. First I tried to write encouraging emails, then prepared two little gifts for mailing, then to address a card. Sometimes we have to make our suffering selves simply keep going in life, doing the daily, earthly tasks such as preparing meals, washing dishes, bathing and dressing, and tidying.
Probably the greatest task, if we even ought consider it a task (but we tend to do so when the forces of darkness cloud our view), is to love. We must think loving thoughts and thank lovingly, God, who loves us more than we can comprehend.
We love and learn love from and by God’s love, even if we don’t stop to think about how He loves or what is love. The Joyful Hermit is reminded today–and reminds you–to just do it! Just love, love, love no matter the pain!