Pain Is Not A Lesson.


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I believe that sometimes, pain is just pain.

Sometimes it just hurts.

Until we see the face of God, we mostly won’t know the why. Even then, I’m not sure there will be a neat bow-tie at the end.

In the waiting, I don’t want to moralize my pain. I refuse to connect the dots at someone who is hurting in the lowest bottom of their soul. I cannot pretty-up grief with retrospective hindsight or poetic reflection. I will not diminish someone’s tragedy into an allegory. I cannot take a human wound and flip it into a cute outline for my logical sensibilities.

Pain sucks. It’s dirty. It’s not fit for books and movies. It doesn’t always resolve. It’s not romantic. It doesn’t need an answer or a fix-it-all. That drives me crazy, but nearly every answer has always come up short and trite and impractical. Pain is a terrible teacher who we try to force answers from, but maybe we’re demanding something that it can’t give.

I want to let pain be as it is, because it’s part of what makes us human. It’s to be experienced, not always explained. I’m trying to be okay with that. I’m trying to live with the wounds. I want to let life unfold, not to escape or avoid or deny, but to let the deepest hurt become part of me, a part of our human story.

12 thoughts on “Pain Is Not A Lesson.

  1. On the subject of physical pain (i.e. sickness or injury), a Christian friend once told me that Christians need to reach out and receive the healing Jesus has already provided. He says that most Christians don’t have the kind of faith needed for this kind of healing, otherwise it would come every time. This doesn’t add up to me because James said, “Count it all joy when you experience trials of many kinds….”, many kinds implying the inclusion of physical suffering. I also think of the Christians I know who truly did have faith in God’s ability to heal, but he chose not to heal them for his sovereign purposes. The idea of “reaching out and grabbing” the healing that is already ours if only we have the faith (in relation to sickness, anyway) makes me uncomfortable because I don’t think it lines up with the rest of the Bible. Yes, Jesus delighted to heal many sick and hurting people in his ministry, but he also said that “In this world you will have trouble….” and he never promised Christians that they didn’t have to suffer in the same way every other human does…


    1. Exactly, I totally agree with you. The idea that “enough faith” equals “physical healing” has caused tons of unfair distress and depression in many well-intentioned believers. But I also do want to believe that God can heal. I would never put that past Him.


  2. As Pastors we are always tempted to spiritualism grief and pain. I have done it and found it leaves Christianity wanting. While everyone of us wants answers I am not sure we need them always.I’m not even sure such answers are always good for us.


    1. Yes. I think theology is absolutely important and we need more of it, but in the heat of the horrid moment, I think presence will win every time.


  3. So nicely said. I sometimes feel like people push others’ pain under the rug, pretending it doesn’t exist. Sometimes they even do it to themselves. But, what few people realise is that we need to cry those tears, admit we are in pain. It is not illegal or sinful to admit that we suffer and get hurt. Too often we cause more damage by ignoring the pain, and tht is not worth it.
    Thank you for sharing!


    1. Yes, so much of Psalms, Jeremiah, and Ecclesiastes is hurtful weeping. I mean there’s an entire book called Lamentations in the Bible. It’s part of the process of healing.

      Liked by 1 person

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