“The moment an ill can be patiently handled, it is disarmed of its poison, though not of its pain.”
~Henry Ward Beecher
It is the cost for love. We who would love would, equally, choose to be ambushed by the pain of loss, whenever that loss avails itself upon us, usually in the least predicted moment. We are destined to be blindsided for the love we have enjoyed—even that which was merely a concept.
The lasting truth of pain is some sadistic testimony of the abysmal fathoms we can sink to, having scaled the majestic stratosphere of love.
The pain of anguish enlivened in love gone wrong, whether by death or breakup or anything else, is an ache unparalleled. Yet, God is able to help. God is able to encourage us to endure the pain, lasting as it is, in such a way that the poison in the pain may be neutralised.
Pain Leads Either To Bitterness Or Betterness
In a simple black-or-white world we have two basic choices regarding how we will handle our losses. Either the pain will poison us, turning us bitter, or it will advise us in a humble wisdom to patiently endure.
Pain will be a companion in connection with the loss we experience; and though it may transform and eventually diminish, it will remain.
The person who resents this fact has sadly placed themselves upon the altar of worship, substituting the place dedicated for God—and, somehow, God is to be placed on the altar of sacrifice. It is a ridiculous notion that we could be hurt by God in our losses, given that losses occur universally. It’s ironic that we bargain with God; we have neither power nor role. Who would usurp God?
Though, we are still afforded the compassion of empathy for those bitter against God. We pray their blindness will diminish, for their own sakes.
When the courage is found to face our pain, as we somehow find a moment’s patient acceptance, the mysterious poison of bitterness ebbs meekly away.
The Sheer Importance Of Faith In Getting Better
To commit to becoming better is the commitment to engage in faith.
Faith is not just a religious concept. It is very much a practical level of trust we issue in everyday life by our decisions to surrender to the way life works itself out for us. Faith is a very practical agreement with ourselves that the whole world doesn’t revolve around us. Faith ensures we hold ourselves to account for a mature approach to life.
Getting better is about taking a holiday from our proud insistences—one of those vacations where we only buy a one-way ticket. We must stop demanding of God.
Pain either makes us bitter or it compels us to become better. By faith we have a mechanism that helps us commit to becoming better. Faith helps us to respect the pain, yet deal with the poison in our losses. Faith ensures healing where we can honour the lasting truth of our pain.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.