The Gift of Pain • Poem

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,

our thoughts flailing in a white-out of exhaustion,

avalanche of loss upon loss, upon sustained loss,

the product of pain fermenting in a sea of doubt,

opaque agitation, disruption, outrageous fear,


intrusive, severe, suffocating,

nearly impossible to color, number, name, or define.

For pain slips through our grip like a mirage dissembling

as we wrestle it into words,

longing for something concrete, something 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 off, but a breaking open,

a radical, reckless, and incomprehensible treasure,

able to refine and strengthen, purify and plunge us deep into Jesus,

where we learn to pray:

“Yes, Lord, even when I don’t understand,

even then, Lord, have Your way.”

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 His cup of suffering.

Cindee Snider Re

Cindee Snider Re

Author, Designer, and Co-Founder of Chronic Joy®

Cindee is married to the man she loves most in this world, Mom to five adult kids plus a son- and daughter-in-love, and Lolli to an adorable grandbaby. She and four of her kids have Ehlers-Danlos and myriad co-existing conditions. While a life steeped in illness is not what she would have chosen, through it, she’s learning that the deeper the valley, the greater her capacity for joy.

Cindee is the author of Discovering Hope, Finding Purpose, Embracing Worth, and I Take You in Sickness and in Health.

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