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Christian Meditation: Compassion and Paradox

“For these the passion of Christ is hidden and genuine, while for those it is only unreal and misleading. In that way God often reverses matters, so that those who do not meditate on Christ’s passion do meditate on it, and those who do not hear mass do hear it, and those who hear it do not hear it.” – Martin Luther, A Meditation on Christ’s Passion

Uncle Dick and Aunt Alliene, as I affectionately called them, brought Angela into the world and eight years later they accompanied her when she left due to complications from cystic fibrosis. Only Alliene sat by Angela’s side in the hospital unable to help her as her lungs filled with fluid and she breathed her last breath.

In the years following Angela’s death, Dick and Alliene dedicated their lives to raising money to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. They accompanied other families and their children who suffered from this disease. Over the course of decades, they raised millions of dollars to this end and now at Toledo Children’s Hospital they have Angie’s Place, a safe and comforting space where terminally and chronically ill children can process their emotions and engage with others.

I believe the last time Dick visited a church was at his daughter’s funeral, however through his life’s work I witnessed his daily meditation on the cross.  In the suffering of others, he saw his own.  He walked in the Way that was self-emptying and offered compassion, creating space for Divine healing’s work.  Dick died in 2009 and there is still no cure for cystic fibrosis.  However, bearing the grief of others helped Dick bear his own during his lifetime. Christ works in paradox such as this.

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