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undefinedI was listening to SoundCloud and managed not to tune out the annoying ad that came on. It was a Verizon commercial talking about their unlimited data plans. It had a family with the dad talking about how reliable it is, and he said something that struck me. He said, “this data plan is one less thing I have to worry about.” I’m sure we’ve used this phrase plenty of times. Just insert before it the action or thing it is and tack this piece on “one less thing I have to worry about.” At face value, we might not think anything of it, but it appealed to me because it says something about our lives. “One less thing?” How many other “things” are we worrying about then?
What is ironic is that inventing new technology is driven, but this concept to make life easier and more efficient; to make life worry-free or to worry less. But the irony comes in that anxiety and diagnosis of anxiety is at an all-time high. There is the argument that maybe it’s more of a matter of awareness of the anxiety that gives this impression of a spike. Nonetheless, people are more anxious and depressed than ever.
At first glance, it may serve only to be a reminder of how bleak our world may seem. And it rightfully so. People are suffering—a lot. So it makes sense why we have become so anxious and so worried. With how dangerous life is now, anything can go wrong at any moment. We are naturally programmed to avoid suffering. This is why Christianity is madness. We do not walk away from pain, but we willingly accept it. There is beauty in our suffering. It doesn’t, of course, make the suffering any less painful. But the beauty comes in that we are in the process of God refining us into something bigger than ourselves, more significant than we can understand. Simon the Cyrene carries the cross of our Lord almost as a prophecy to us. In that, we will share in His suffering. I’m not speaking in some symbolic or “make you feel good” type of way. We legitimately partake in His pain through ours. There are many well-read Copts and clergy who agree with me that there are more than just 7 Mysteries (Sacraments). There is the idea that monasticism is, and I have begun to believe that suffering itself is.
No matter the root of the suffering, whether it was due to someone else or something else or even yourself, God is there in the depth of pain. He is there. It doesn’t mean that I’ll become less anxious or depressed, but it can take the shame of suffering. The shame that we think because negative things have happened in our lives that we need to hideaway. I’ll end with a prayer for those suffering in silence.

Oh, Father, the Pantocrator, You know and see each person’s struggle. Often, we are overcome by despair from suffering, yet You created us in Your image, and in Your likeness and through this, we find value, strength, and comfort. Yes, Only-Begotten Son, You know our thoughts and our depths. We suffer in silence, but You know our anguish. Through Your incarnation, You give us victory in that our suffering is Your suffering and Your suffering ours. Through this, You glorify us in Your resurrection. Oh, Holy Spirit, the Comforter, You dwell in every place and fill all things. Fill our whole being with Your comfort and peace. Knowing that we can hold space for both suffering and harmony; pain and prosperity, having a vision looking towards the age to come.