pain

A sort of corollary to waiting is pain.  In the short run, I’m waiting for a house to sell.  This is the third time I’ve put this house on the market (05, 08, 10). The ups and downs of buyers’ interest are painful, and a rollercoaster.  In the broader sense, I’m waiting for Jesus to make all things right – and there is pain in following Him.  In addition to reading Nouwen, the following things have helped.  Bike rides, good friends, contemplating wildflowers, and ice cream.  And also…

“Allow for Space in the Music: Acknowledging the Mystery of Pain” – an article by Carolyn Arends that talks about people’s unhelpful responses to pain – “Forced Meaning,” “Invalidation of Present Pain,” and “Formula Thinking.”  The best part might be the end – though the whole article is worth a read.

Sometimes the most helpful thing we can do is think of a truth and embody it rather than say it. When we long to tell a hurting friend that she’s not alone, we can simply sit with her as a tangible reminder that she isn’t. When we want to reassure a struggling family that God cares for them, a well-timed casserole can demonstrate that very fact. Only when we acknowledge the present pain—and the mysteries that likely shroud its cause—do we earn the right to affirm God’s goodness in the midst of it.

And only when we mourn—for ourselves, for each other, and for a world groaning for redemption—can we be comforted … and be a comfort.

Also, a song I have been listening to a lot – High Street Hymns – you can listen to it on the site.

he ever loves us us in our brokenness
weeps for every grief we face
intercedes for us without ceasing
and bids us to receive his grace

his love protects us through the dark night
never leaves us in our pain
he shelters us in his presence
in weakness, he perfects his strength

he ever loves us in our brokenness
in the cross he hides our shame
forsaken by the father,
he died for us, he took our place
amen.
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