I’ve been thinking a lot about pain. Our whole society tries to avoid pain, or shut down pain, by taking “pain-killer” drugs, but it turns out that “pain killer” overdoses are killing people every day. This is a painful truth. Can we talk about how to live with and heal our pain, instead of trying to hide it?
Pain is an indicator that something needs attention, and when we don’t feel pain, we avoid working at being healthy – in body, mind, and Spirit. We also don’t like emotional pain, or painful conversations and confrontations with others.
For me, one of the most painful issues of our day is our country’s inability, or refusal, to stop or even slow, the weekly, at times daily, mass shootings in schools and other places around our country. We get so used to news of violence, that we just shrug it off and move on, rather than feeling the pain, grieving more tragic and unnecessary death, and insisting our government change its laws. Do we feel the pain of the families of loved ones who die from guns? Or of millions of children who are now traumatized even by “active shooter drills?”
Do we feel the pain of our brothers and sisters of color, who have to teach their children how to act if a policeman approaches them? Do we feel the pain of the people of Flint, as so many children’s lives are stunted by poisoned water?
What might God’s response be?
Our faith requires vulnerability and courage, to shine God’s light on the dark and painful. Healing light comes through conversa-tion, confession, forgiveness, medicine, counseling – and action for change. I think of Jesus’ words in a situation where his disci-ples could not heal: “This kind can only come out by prayer.” Mark 9:29
See you in church! Pastor Nancy Ebner