For most of my life, I don’t think I have really understood the suffering that Christ endured on the cross. I came to this realization a month or so ago when trying to comes to grips with our infertility situation, and to be frank, the lack of support we’ve received from our community. In trying to come to grips with this, I kept asking myself “why?”. Why are we going through this? And why it is also so lonely? Why are most people unwilling to grieve with us in our loss of control in growing our family? I came to one conclusion that perhaps most people see the end of the story. Perhaps they think that one day we will adopt or eventually get pregnant and our brief suffering will be over, or further on (or perhaps not) we will pass on to have eternal life in heaven where hopefully we are storing our treasures. And also that we should see the end of the story too, accept God’s will, and not be sad at all. After all, we have a great marriage and an amazing child (who, by the way, asked for a sibling a few weeks ago). And perhaps a lot of people are just super awkward around infertility situations, some people have too much of their own suffering, and some are too busy.
Then I realized I have almost always approached Jesus’s suffering on the cross that way. I thought He is God! He knows the end of the story! He knows everything! He even knew this would happen! Even having a better understanding of the incarnation as an Orthodox Christian, and a better understanding of the fact that Christ was both FULLY God and FULLY man, I still didn’t understand why I should feel super bad for him for the crucifixion because he was FULLY God as well and knew what He was getting into and did it willingly. I still don’t understand it completely. But I now know that I was approaching Christ the very same way people might be approaching our situation, only seeing the end of the story and not our current suffering. Somehow this round-a-bout thought process has helped me to better understand that Jesus was also FULLY human, that he suffered incredibly as a HUMAN and that His willingness to go through it was one of the things that made it amazing. I don’t think I would willingly go through this suffering, however minor it is in comparison. So I guess I have more sympathy now for what Jesus went through as a human being and how He really can be there for me in my suffering, and how he is especially there when it feels like no one else is.
At the top of this post I put an icon of St. Cosmas and St. Damian. Two brothers who traveled around helping people without accepting payment because they had the gift of healing. They are sometimes referred to as the Unmercenery Physicians St. Cosmas and Damian. Because they were both people who healed people and were brothers, I think they would have a special understanding to help heal someone struggling with secondary infertility. Please pray to God for us St. Cosmas and St. Damian!