T.S. Tuesday: I Hope You Get Crushed

“To rest in your own suffering
Is evasion of suffering. We must learn to suffer more.” ~T.S. Eliot, Family Reunion


Photo courtesy of Plant With Purpose

I’ve been puzzling over this one for a while and haven’t come to any satisfying conclusions. I don’t understand how resting in suffering is evading suffering. Are we supposed to be dissatisfied in our suffering and search out more? I agree that we should learn to suffer more. That we should even welcome suffering. But does that mean we cannot rest in suffering or that we shouldn’t stay in suffering? Should our suffering point us somewhere else?

Along these lines, Ken Wytsma, the founder of the JusticeConference said on Friday night, to over 4,000 justice hopefuls, “I hope you get crushed.”

I. Hope. You. Get. Crushed.

He went on to describe how a seed needs to be crushed and buried before something life-giving can grow.

Sex slavery should crush you.

Lack of access to water should crush you.

War and rape and genocide should crush you.

Violence—physical and political and economic and structural—should crush you.

Should we rest in this crushing, this suffering? Do we stay and find comfort that our hearts and consciences are granted the sensitivity and empathy to be crushed in the first place? Or is this evading the very thing that is crushing us? Must we learn to suffer more?

Yes and no.

I think we should stay. I think we shouldn’t numb.

Photo courtesy of Plant With Purpose

But I also think we are called to leave. To sprout tendrils of hope and release roots of redemption. To take part in the very redemption—redeeming, revaluing, renewing—of our suffering for the sake of others.

In that way, let us not be content to rest in our suffering, but learn to suffer more for the sake that others might live, might hope, might be freed from even greater crushing.

What do you think this quote means? How do you take Eliot’s words? What do you think of my take on crushing and suffering? 

2 thoughts on “T.S. Tuesday: I Hope You Get Crushed

  1. I take Eliot's words in light of my own dealings with grief. I can choose to remain in my grief over, say, my father's death, but to do so keeps me from ever truly living again (and thus, inevitably experiencing grief again).

  2. Aly Lewis says:

    That makes a lot of sense, Adrian. Keep up the work of moving beyond grief! You could probably write a Life to the Fullest post on that topic 😉

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