Weekly Edgework #2 - July 12, 2004

A Letter to a Young Friend

Dear Kim,

I just want to let you know how much I appreciated your personal sharing and your song last Sunday morning. I would like to compliment you on having discovered and admitted early in your life that this world is filled with pain. That is a major dimension of becoming an adult in the true sense of the word.

Unfortunately, there are many older people who have still not learned that or are in a state of denial. To them life is, or should be, one happy moment after another. To be a faithful Christian for them is to float above the world and stay as far away from pain as possible. That is why it is so devastating to them when it hits them directly. Your sensitivity to pain in the world is a sign of maturity beyond your years. Do not lose it. It is perhaps the most precious thing that will keep you close to Jesus and effective in your ministry.

I have a few quotes that might be of interest to you with respect to pain. Find them below.

Happy events make life delightful, but they do not lead to self-discovery and growth and freedom. That privilege is reserved to the things and persons that cause us pain. Every painful event contains in itself a seed of growth and liberation. (Anthony De Mello)

But love has pitched her mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not first been rent.

(Yeats)

God does not promise us protection any more than he promised it to Jesus. Or Jacob. We are not given protection. We are given vulnerability. We are promised not the absence of pain, but the blessed warning of pain. We are promised not that we wonít be wounded, that we wonít bleed, but that we will be transfused. We are promised not that we wonít die, but that we shall live. (Madeleine LíEngle in Glimpses of Grace)

I encourage you to keep your heart open to the pain both in and around you. Because it is in living through this pain with Jesus at our side that we find our lives growing deeper. Donít be afraid. Pain is the key to transformation.

Love in Christ,

Jack Heppner