Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pain Hurts

keep begging

St. Paul said, "If you love those who love you what good is there in that?" 
Thomas Merton said, " If you always do what you like to do there is no merit in that."

So if life is simple and smooth and Jesus and I talk together every day I'm happy.  I feel peaceful.  It is nice to be on a honeymoon but that's not real life.  We're supposed to look at problems as opportunities.  God is always with us so we're never alone in our pain.  Thomas Merton says our surface self may be troubled but the Holy Spirit brings peace deep into the soul. 

That may be true but pain hurts.  It doesn't matter if its temporary or circumstantial or even if we're only feeling it because someone we love is the one in pain.  Pain hurts.  It upsets my physical being and makes me lose my focus.  Sometimes it's powerful enough to knock me down.  I feel empty.  I'm not talking about an interruption or a relatively minor problem.  Those are like being jostled.   Pain is being knocked completely off course.  Suffering is a better word because it seems to describe the slowness of an on-going process.  And it hurts.  

The truest saying of all is that time heals.  It may take three days, three weeks or three years.  It certainly takes three Persons in One.  Only after our pain begins to subside do the clouds move out of our vision.  When that happens we can see more clearly again and we notice who, what and where we went to seek comfort in our pain.  But it takes some time and my job is to be patient and calm (isn't that what peace is?) while I wait for the suffering to ease and the healing to begin. 

The process can't be rushed - it would only have to begin again.  I've tried that.  Suffering also will not be ignored.  It returns at every quiet moment and with certain memory triggers.  so if you can't rush it or ignore it what else can you do?  You could always cover it over with "comfort" food, drugs or alcohol, shopping, working, or going on a vacation.  But when that cover is finally removed the suffering is still there. 

I have to learn to sit with my pain.  To let it just be.  To look at it carefully and understand it.  Take it apart and look at all the pieces...gently.    Yuck.  But for me there is no way around it  That's why I'm writing this instead of stoically ignoring the pain or shopping or going to work earlier and ignoring my prayer time.  I'm admitting my pain and letting it out.  It's a new approach for me.  I even asked Jesus for help.  I began to do that about two years ago- finally.   It doesn't go away any faster but it feels more honest. 

Jesus, I'm not your perfect child.  Can't seem to do much on my own but that's OK.  I could do a lot worse than being dependent on You.  What am I trying to hide?  You know me thru and thru.  When you were on earth you sometimes spoke to Your Father all night long.  That wasn't all about getting instructions for the next day.  I'll bet you talked about us a lot to your Abba and I'll bet you needed - because You were fully human- to let go of some of your pain and frustration.  I'd love to have overheard some of those prayers!  Altho I can't listen in, I can certainly mimic your behavior.  Help me please and accept my suffering as a gift to You for the accomplishment of Your holy will. 
Thank you. 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:36 AM

    Wow... What a beautiful prayer...