Longsuffering (The Suffering of Love)
Grace and Glory had seen the saffron crocuses growing on other parts of the High Places, but never in such glorious profusion as on this mountain. It was impossible for them to walk anywhere without treading on these delicate hued flowers and using them much as a doormat! As soon as their feet were lifted from them, however, she noticed that the dauntless, gay little things bobbed up again at once, as fresh and uncrushed as though they had not been trodden upon.
When she remarked on this to the King he explained with another of his happy smiles that this was the characteristic of true longsuffering. It bears quite happily everything that is done against it, resents not at all being trampled under foot, and reacts to the wrongdoing of others against itself as though no wrong had been done at all, or else as though it had forgotten all about it! For longsuffereing is really the lovely quality of forgiveness and bearing contentedly and joyfully the results of the mistakes and wrongdoing of others....
"My Lord," she said, "this is called the Mountain of Longsuffering. Has love no power to save and help others apart from suffering? Why must love suffer at all, and why, above all else, must love suffer long?"
"It is because the very essence of love is oneness," answered the King. "That is why love must suffer. If the beloved creatures whom the Creator created for love's sake must suffer, then the oneness of love makes it impossible for him to allow them to suffer anything which he is not willing to suffer with them. It is because the whole body of mankind is suffering so dreadfully from the disease of sin and all its dreadful consequences, that I, who am so one with mankind, must suffer it all with them. Ever since the first sin, the love of God has been, as it were, upon a cross of suffering....Think of what it means to be able to save and to heal. To be able to raise up out of that which has been so cruelly marred and deseased, something far more glorious than would otherwise have been possible."Mountains of Spices by Hannah Hurnard, Copyright 1977 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers,Inc. All rights reserved.