Aldersgate Men

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

walk into the pain

Before we suffer, suffering is our worst nightmare.

Becoming a parent, I lived in fear of what I'd do if I were to have a special needs kid.
I feared being betrayed.
As a wealthy man, I looked at those who struggled for food and shuddered, and immediately thought of all the reasons that they were the way they were, and why I would never be that way.
As an attractive man, I looked at those who were not so attractive and deep inside, knew that I'd dodged the bullet on that one... only to be reminded occasionally, with an unsettling feeling, as I walked through the burn unit and looked at those whose faces had macabre holes where a nose used to be, and scar tissue rather than features... that in an instant I could be one of them, not one of us.

And then God gave me Kaitlin. I learned to accept that she was not going to be "normal"... and I grieved the loss... and then I embraced the gift that she is... if you were to ask me today if I'd like God to erase her "differentness", I just couldn't do it. She is the beautiful girl God created, who has conversations in the back seat while I'm driving... "Jesus, you goofball, you made FLOWERS! What's Your favorite color?"

And God gave me eyes to see the betrayal of those I trusted most. And He showed my that HE had not betrayed me.

And God took everything I owned... my house, my NEXT house, my cars, my Harley, my job, my career, my ability to hold it all together... then my family. And HE reformed it all, and gave SOME of it back. And then He gave me new gifts... gifts only received through suffering. He made it possible, after the cars were repo'd, for me to swap IT work for a car rental place for the use of a rental car. So there I was, driving a Ford Taurus with 12 miles on the odometer, YELLING at God... "God, I DON"T EVEN HAVE A CAR!"... ... .... .... "Uhhh, except for the one I'm DRIVING!"... God showed me ownership is not important, and that I shouldn't pray for a car, but that I should pray for transportation. Let Him provide what he will. The rent car, besides being hot off the assembly line, came with insurance... I didn't even need insurance... and I had the gall to be unsatisfied! God taught me EXACTLY what it's like to stand in line at the food bank... and not be able to explain WHY things are the way they are, yet need the help none the less.

And then God took my teeth... and I started to look like more like a homeless guy than an executive. And I learned the unspoken cruelty our society has for those who are not physically beautiful. And I learned to actively love, particularly those who are less lovable by our society's standards.

And EVERYTHING in my life that is worth ANYTHING, came as a direct result of suffering.

And I learned to live to survive the next five minutes. I learned to find contentment in THIS moment. I learned to embrace the process without regard for the result.

And I am almost fearless... because true Love casts out all fear... yet He doesn't specify HOW He casts it out. His methods vary, and not all of them are painless.

I know. I didn't enjoy it, yet I do recommend it.

Walk into the pain.

-vern-

4 Comments:

Blogger Behr Whitewash said...

V, as always thanks for your witness & testimony. "The force is strong with this one..."

Peace, bro.

G

5:22 AM  
Blogger bob redding said...

Yes indeed, how and what we have to learn as God's precious people.

10:20 AM  
Blogger bob redding said...

Oh and I love the confirmation that you are just a little off center. (An attractive man? Whew!)

10:22 AM  
Blogger Redlefty said...

Incredibly powerful.

7:13 PM  

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