Wednesday, March 12, 2008
heavy reading: I've read some heavy stuff this year!
To some, the image of a pale body glimmering on a dark night whispers of defeat. What good is a God who does not control his Son's suffering? But another sound can be heard: the shout of a God crying out to human beings, "I LOVE YOU." Love was compressed for all history in that lonely figure on the cross, who said that he could call down angels at any moment on a rescue mission, but chose not to - because of us. At Calvary, God accepted his own unbreakable terms of justice.
Any discussion of how pain and suffering fit into God's scheme ultimately leads back to the cross.
Philip Yancey: Where is God When it Hurts
In ancient civilizations and cultures of India and to Southeast Asia where pain and hunger, disease and death, have been for centuries a part of every day life and where easy relief of pain by medication has not been available the people have developed a realistic attitude towards pain. The personal mastery of pain has become an important part of yoga and other forms of discipline. In the West we have come to think of pain as an unwarranted intrusion into our lives. Above all we have come to think of it as something that should be immediately suppressed. The whole thrust of television advertising repeatedly asks only one question about pain. How quickly can it be relieved. Product A relieves it 20 seconds faster than Product B. There is no hint that before the pain is relieved it should be understood and its message should be listened to.
Paul Brand: The Gift of Pain
I thought I am kissing pain and pain belongs to You as happiness never does. I love You in Your pain. I could almost taste metal and salt in the skin, and I thought, How good you are. You might have killed us with happiness, but You let us be with You in pain.
Graham Greene: The End of the Affair