The pain of suffering is often what bears the fruit

james shone

By James Shone

I have found myself all over the place this week. Speaking to pupils and staff in London schools, speaking at a business to a large group of area managers in North Yorkshire and more recently speaking to students and lecturers at a local university. As I have spoken the response of the audiences has been very positive – often along the lines of: “you’ve responded so well to what was thrown at you.” This can be a challenge for me since generally these people have seen me on my good days and have no reason to know that behind closed doors I can find life very tough living with limited sight. However, I am convicted of the reality that suffering can bear fruit and has the ability to make us in to new and improved beings. I’m about to meet with an old pupil of mine who is on a journey back from depression and the abuse of narcotics. My real heart is for him to use this dark story to help, assist and support others rather than being shrouded and defined by the darkness.
I think we’ve got to embrace suffering and loss and if we do then we are in a stronger position to help, mentor and support others. The key is not to assume the “poor old me” posture but to keep journeying through with a determination to recalibrate when necessary and to keep asking yourself the question “how can I refine myself through this?”