The Greatness of God
Surely he has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
and by his bruises we are healed.
This past year, as a hospital chaplain for a COVID–19 intensive care unit, I’ve witnessed so much suffering. Those with severe disease have essentially suffocated to death, separated from family who can offer comfort only through a glass door or screen. I have listened to doctors and nurses bemoan their inability to help once the disease has progressed so far and have seen their bewilderment as they provide the only hand to hold as these souls take their final breaths. Isaiah prophesies that the greatness of Jesus is not reigning above us but bearing with us—and even for us—the supreme pains and perils of human experience. Suffering is in no way great; it’s utterly horrible and should never be romanticized. My faith is tested as I wrestle with the meaning and purpose of such suffering. Yet I do see my Savior, the Suffering Servant, take flesh daily in my colleagues who bear with and for one another and our patients; and even out of such anguish, there is light.
Continue to bear with us, Lord, giving us strength to bear with one another; as we do, may healing come. Amen.
Katherine Doehring, Houston, Texas
From “These Days”-October, November, December
Presbyterian Church (USA)