Dear Father, there are many reasons why people suffer. – Some suffer because others are watching. Spectators will see how You carry the sufferers through tough times. It gives people hope. – Some suffer because they sacrifice for others, such as a fire fighter who needs skin grafts after rescuing a child from a burning car. – Some people are victims of the cruelty of others and the brokenness in this world. – Some people suffer because You gave them communication and teaching skills. They will share with others the lessons You teach them. – Some people suffer because the suffering redirects their careers. An engineer now desires to become a counselor, working with other cancer survivors. – Some people make a life-altering mistake because they are human. One hour of drinking and a young man commits manslaughter. Who of us is not capable of making a bad choice or succumbing to temptation? – Some people suffer for reasons we will never understand. People are intricate and complicated, woven into the fabric of relationships, community, and society. One person’s suffering has an intentional ripple effect on other lives. Only You can make sense of it all. I need to trust You. Father, may I be loving and non-judgmental to people who suffer. May I not be just sympathetic. May I not be just compassionate. May I be empathetic, doing what I can, by Your strength, to ease their suffering. They need my help. Their situation is beyond their ability to handle on their own. Father, help me to ease their suffering, not just this hour, but until they are back on their feet. Amen.