Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Silently Taboo

Maybe it is just Western believers who take scriptures apart and use the sections we like and ignore the rest. Over the last 4 years of caregiving I have "found' pieces of scriptures which have been somewhat ignored. Perhaps because it does not match our own theology. Somewhere along the church-y path it seems we were indirectly (I hope not directly) taught that pain was wrong - even a sin. Maybe no one said it, but various things led me to interpret sermons to mean that pain was not acceptable. When's the last time you heard a sermon on how to handle those pains in your heart? The soul pains that the caregiver suffer are deep and oftentimes unexpressed, because we indirectly are led to believe that they are taboo.

We even ignore books of the Bible that don't match our anti-pain theologies. When is the last time you heard a sermon from Lamentations? Right. Because the prophet penned that book when he was in intense pain for the losses he saw his people, God's people, going through. If we do hear Lamentations mentioned in a sermon I'd lay money on the fact that it is probably the 22nd and 22rd verses of chapter 3. The Lord's lovingkindnesses never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  (NASB) That is a wonderful scripture and really does offer much peace and hope. I need to know that His mercies are fresh and keeping me alive in Him every single day!

We do not hear the context of these courage building scriptures. Here's what the prophet shared about the anguish of his soul leading up to these true nuggets: My soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness. So I say, 'My strength has perished, and so has my hope from the Lord.' Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. (NASB) That's verses 17 to 21 in which the prophet shares honestly how he felt and pours out his anguish in an open and transparent manner. We really do not see that a lot today. Perhaps because it's not allowed. It is silently taboo.

The more I live the more pain I see , not just for the caregiver who lives in daily soul pain. People are diagnosed with serious life threatening diseases, children are killed in car wrecks, and loved ones are lost. Pain is real - and if we ignore it - we cannot take it to the Lord in exchange for His mercy. He cannot help me carry a load that I will not acknowledge I have.

Today, I will meditate on acknowledging my pain and giving it to Him. I will think about how great His mercies are and how thankful I am that when my strength has perished He will lift me up. Will you join me?

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