Thursday, February 10, 2011

Everybody Hurts

How do you deal with pain? Easy to say, "Give it to the Lord."
Hard to do. Hard to let go of it. Why would you hang on to something that hurts? I am reminded of that scene at the beginning
of the tv series, Kung Fu, where Caine takes the burning cauldron
between his forearms and sets it aside. He then falls into the snow,
and the marks left on his arms identify him as a Shaolin priest.

Someone, maybe G. Gordon Liddy, once said "Eat your pain." I'm
not sure what that means; maybe you swallow it down and you digest it, absorbing that part which is useful and discarding the rest.

Someone else said, "That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger."
Yeh, I can relate to that. It's more in line with Romans 8:28 and the idea that all things come from God's hand and are intended for the good of those who love Him.

Do you share it? Doesn't jibe with the "Suck it up" or "Gimme some pushups while you're down there" philosophy, does it? Here's something: Solomon, in the midst of his discourse about life "under the sun" said this: "For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who falls and has not another to lift him up!"

So how do I share your pain? Is just being there enough? Brother Red Johnson (some of you remember Brother Red) had a song that went "Stop, and Let Me Tell You What the Lord Has Done for Me." Talking about salvation, of course. But Paul said "Rejoice in the Lord always."

Can we rejoice together? "This hurts for now, but look what God is doing in my life to make me stronger and better and more like Jesus!" Can I share with you in this manner? Would it be offensive if you're the one hurting?

About Caine. This pain is blocking our path. We can't get around it.
It's so big and heavy, we must momentarily embrace it to set it aside. And this process marks us, identifies us, tells who we are and to whom we belong.

That's what I think, anyway.


  1. I love the Caine illustration, the last paragraph. Thanks for this, RB.

  2. ^ what she said.

    I am offended by others' wanting to share my pain. I am too proud to let them sympathise or to ask them for help. Why? Because i believe that my pain is wrong. I'm not humble enough to be willing to work through my weakness, my sadness, my fear. I'm trying to hide from it or bulldoze through it instead of embracing it as a place to encounter God and grow.

    I think a real, active faith is willing to come into a relationship fully aware that you are bringing pain and need as well as love. Knowing the relationship may be "unequal" but willing to engage in that love anyway. Because faith isn't lived out in lonely perfection, or the lonely pursuit of perfection. It's lived out in love, and it grows when love gets difficult.