Pain makes theologians of us all. If you have spent even one night in real physical pain, then you know what that can do to your faith in God, not to mention your faith in your own ability to manage your life. One afternoon when I was pruning trees, I stuck a sharp stick in my right eye…
…While the grandfather clock tolled hour after hour, I prayed the kind of prayers I never thought I would pray. I began the kind of bargaining with God that I do not believe in, and when that did not work, I called God’s honor into question. I begged God to help. I dared God to help. Finally, near dawn, I found myself turning away from the God in charge of pain removal toward the God who had stayed with me through the pain no matter what I said. By the time I saw an optometrist who told me I had a torn cornea, my midnight wrestling match was over. The pain had not only changed the way I prayed, it had also changed my ideas about the One to whom I prayed.
This message is excerpted from “The Practice of Feeling Pain” by Barbara Brown Taylor in the March 2015 Gather magazine.
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