Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Book of Common Prayer

In Pain

Lord Jesus Christ, by your patience in suffering you hallowed earthly pain and gave us the example of obedience to your Father's will: Be near me in my time of weakness and pain; sustain me by your grace, that my strength and courage may not fail; heal me according to your will; and help me always to believe that what happens to me here is of little account if you hold me in eternal life, my Lord and my God. Amen.

A friend of mine lost his young wife to cancer many years ago. She said to him, while dying, that she could not believe the human body's capacity for pain. That remark has haunted me since I first heard if over a decade ago. One wishes not to know such things, but they cannot be un-known once known. They linger, unbidden.

It now strikes me that the soul has untold capacities for emotional pain,
astonishing depths of despair...
and acres of acidic aching--
the miasma of myriad torments,
the abyss of agonies seemingly unrelenting and unforgiving.
And unbearable.

Yet Christ, yet Christ
suffered far, far worse:
"My God, my God.
Why have your forsaken me?!"

Then he died,
was buried.

And rose again, never forgetting
the worst wounds the world could inflict
or the eternal reward that God could provide.

God, have mercy on me,
a miserable sinner.

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