Tag Archive: Suffering

Wail Silently

As the night creeps along, the cool air falling colder, I feel the fingers of despair working their way across my heart.  I ache this evening.  So much so, that I cannot focus on the writing I must finish before the morning.  It is because of the hopeless feeling that dear friends have tonight.  Having been set free graciously from the myopia of hopelessness, my desire to see them set free is pressing against the rib cage in my chest.  They also ache as well.  The time stretches longer and longer.  What we are in is temporary, the trials will eventually pass.  But, when it happens to ourselves, we can find our breath and hold fast until the dawn comes.  When it happens to those we love, we start drowning on their behalf, grasping and gasping and failing and flailing.  Even if we know the truth, have experienced the freeing grace, we are confronted with the impotence of our own actions.  We turn to the Lord hoping and pleading for immediate release from the ties that bind our loved ones.  The answer of “not yet” isn’t a valid response to us.  The amazing gift of my wife is in the other room, and I cannot slam my fists against the walls or pound against the desk beneath my hands.  I don’t want to share my anxiety and ruin her rest.  In this I taste the bitter conflict.  I imagine the mothers and fathers watching their children struggle, and am confronted with an iceberg’s tip of the anguish they feel.  The dichotomy of having to be granite pillars for the ones we would die for mirrored against wanting to crumble into a ball on the floor and sob is too much to bear.  So, in the middle of the night, I softly cry out.  For I know that my Lord understands the groaning within me, and I remind Him of His promises on behalf those folks beset upon on behalf of their families.  My feeble words accomplish little, and yet I feel unable to do anything except sit here kneeling and breaking.  My eyes scour the blackness on the other side of my office window.  As if an answer might contrast against the darkness there.  The reflection flickers with the light of my computer flashing across the pane, and all I can do is sigh, feeling left wanting.  Heavy, deliberate, impatient… Trying to trust while the tough trials linger like chains.  Praying to be prisoners of hope instead of free people fooled by optimism.  So, I wail silently.

The difference between safety and security is a fine line.  The difference between protected and sheltered should not be.

We live in a society that puts an emphasis upon our personal well-being over others.  It’s a natural human trait to do so.  When my personal well-being is wrapped up in yours, we both become partners in keeping each other safe from harm.

Today, just as in any other time in the world’s history, we live wounded lives.  Even those of us who are redeemed, and recovered by Christ’s sacrifice, we still lived wounded.  The earth aches with the brokenness it has, and so do we.  But, when we discover that we’re hurting, we also discover that we’re vulnerable.  Nowadays, we’re taught from an early age to run away from things that hurt us.  In my country, it seems that we have a national past-time of finding new ways to run away or hide from the things that hurt us, we don’t like, or make us feel weak or vulnerable.

I’m convinced that for us to be healthy people.  We have to know it’s okay to hurt a little.  It’s a part of life on this planet.  As a Christian, it’s even more imperative.  Those that refuse to identify with others’ pain, refuse to identify their own pain… cannot identify with Christ’s pain on our behalf.  Thusly we don’t get a chance to enter into the reclamation on the other side of it. 

I have friends and family that can only feel pain through a checkbook problem.  They’ve insulated themselves off from the world that only a shortage of money would keep their cable and video game and comforts of life existence from sheltering them from what happens in our world.  I also have friends that have gotten so good at hiding from their pain or hiding their pain that it comes out in all sorts of wonderful mental disorders.  Their existence is trapped behind the walls that they built to shelter themselves from hurting.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the pain is too much.  Life sometimes overwhelms us through cruel circumstances.  However, whether or not we take the full brunt of what is coming at us, we still get very calloused.  Our hearts get scarred from too much pain, or if we shelter ourselves from life, our hearts become so thin-skinned that we cannot cope with it. 

 If given a choice, we would much rather hide ourselves from wounds.  That action causes us to become just as calloused as when we are subjected to repeated wounds but we lose the ability to have compassion for others in similar circumstances.  I believe that as we hide, we’re not being sheltered or protected or becoming safe or secure… we’re becoming numb.  Numb people can only look at themselves and focus upon themselves.  Unfortunately, many times when I look at society, that’s all that I see in people.  Otherwise, why does it take a catastrophic event like Haiti to move our hearts to care?

Without Christ coming into our lives, setting us free to be who we were created to be.  Giving us the ability to rise above and overcome pain, sin, suffering, etc in this world… our hearts stay walled off.  And people pay the price from the isolation.

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