Sickness is part of life, not like growth or gratification, but more like an interruption, a suspension, a burden, a nuisance even. Far from being an accident, it reveals to us the normal, limited condition of all human satisfaction. Sickness defines me as a fragile, weak, uncertain, and needy being.It was St. Paul who insightfully observed: "Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor 12:10). This is one of those statements we can either reduce or simply pass over. In the passage leading up to this statement Paul recounts his woes. In other words, understanding what he means can only be learned through experience.
Sickness clearly reveals what is hidden in me even when I am healthy, and I fear it because I am loath to see my limitations and my weak points revealed (On the Body: A Contemporary Theology of the Human Person, 20-21)
As the late and still badly missed Rich Mullins sang: "We are not as strong as we think we are." You guessed it, that is our Friday traditio:
"To stand there it takes some grace, 'cuz we are not as strong as we think we are."