Pain swallows hope whole, quashing
anticipation, motivation, and strength
as heartbeats tumble through our fingers
in a tempest of raging shame. Without
hope, we wither, unmoored and disconnected
from the Body, depleted. Yet in the beginning
was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. How can this Word,
this ancient, inspired expression of God fall
flavorless on our ears, unclear, thoughts flailing
in a white-out of exhaustion, avalanche of loss upon
loss, upon sustained loss … product of pain
fermenting in a sea of doubt, opaque agitation, disruption,
outrageous fear. Grief, really … intrusive, severe,
suffocating, nearly impossible to color, number, name, define.
For pain slips through our grip like a mirage dissembling
as we wrestle it into words, longing for something concrete,
quantifiable, something we can taste, touch, experience, see.
Yet the mystery is that once embraced, once accepted
as allowed by the Hand of God, pain becomes a gift –
not a breaking of, but a breaking open, a radical,
reckless, incomprehensible treasure, able to refine, strengthen,
purify and plunge us deep into the bedrock of Jesus,
where we learn to pray: “Yes, Lord, even when we don’t
understand, even then, Lord, have Your way.” For pain can
be a pivot point, a place where the veil thins and we learn
to taste and see that He is God, and He is good. All the time.
Where we discover the inexplicable kinship of
suffering and joy. For we cannot savor joy until
we have first drunk deep the cup of suffering.
Cindee Snider Re
Author and Co-Founder at Chronic Joy Ministry, Inc.
Cindee is a wife of 26 years to the man she loves most in this world, mama of five world-shaking creatives (17-25), author of Discovering Hope, Finding Purpose and I Take You in Sickness and In Health and photographer, craver of quiet, lover of cotton, denim, Jesus and tea, and co-founder of Chronic Joy Ministry, Inc. Cindee and four of her five kids have Ehlers-Danlos, dysautonomia, intractable migraine, and myriad co-existing conditions.