Insight from Pirates

“Life is pain highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.”

Can you name the movie? It’s a brilliant movie but not exactly the most uplifting quote.

Life is pain? Really? We don’t want this to be so but can we disagree? Even the most staunch optimist must admit that life is full of pain. So, if life is pain, what now?

There seem to be two sides to this coin. On the one hand, we avoid. Run. Pretend it doesn’t exist or that it’s not that bad. And on the other, we wallow. Crawl back into bed, curl up in the fetal position, and pray to be left alone until it’s over.

Life is pain.

And pain hurts. It’s uncomfortable. Can you blame me for running or wallowing? But running and avoiding pain means I’m convinced it has no value. And, if I cringe and hold my breath until it’s over, in essence, I declare the same. Pain has no value. We only embrace things that we declare beneficial or profitable.

But if I act as though pain has no value and I know that life is full of pain then I have sealed my fate. My life will have pain, the pain has no value, therefore, life has no value. The only days to be celebrated are those lived on the pinnacle of health or happiness. All other days should be endured until we crest the mountain once again.

But let’s live radically. What if we could believe something else. What if every day counted? What if we could believe that…

Pain has value.

Don’t worry. I didn’t make this up.

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”  ― C.S. Lewis

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”  ― Dalai Lama XIV

“Let me explain. Wait, there is no time. Let me sum up.” Life is pain. Pain is God shouting at me. But His message is hope. And if I’ve learned anything in the last few years it’s this–

The beauty of hope is seen best against the darkened back drop of pain.

We are planning to move away. My heart grieves at the inevitable good-bye that is coming. I want to hide. I want to withdrawal. I want it not to be so.

Life is pain.

May the pain of goodbye deepen my resolve to live in relationship. May the hurt of separation open my heart like the seed that waits for spring. May the breaking of our hearts, create a capacity in us to love even deeper. May we have ears to hear God’s message of hope. He is shouting after all.

But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. – Job 36:15


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One Comment on "Insight from Pirates"

  1. Janet Hanson
    27/09/2012 at 12:30 pm Permalink

    That last paragraph knocked me over. Counter-intuitive, I want to close my heart in those moments. Thank you, Rebecca.

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