Friday, November 16, 2012

God's Gift of Pain

We live in a pain filled world. People are hurt physically  in both small and big ways everyday. We burn our fingers on a pot, curling iron or a cup of coffee. We smash a thumb in a door or with a hammer. On a larger level, we experience a fall, get into a car wreck or break a bone. The result is a wound that is accompanied by pain.

I have often heard preachers suggest that pain is a part of "the fall." That it is a curse that will be redeemed and one day there will be no pain. Perhaps on one level they are correct. Like everything else that is frustrated in creation, pain impacts us in ways that it was never intended. 

But pain is natural. If it wasn't for pain we wouldn't know that we were burning ourselves and thus be able to pull our hand from the fire. We wouldn't realize that we had cut ourselves until we saw the blood on our arm. Pain is a gift from God. It is the way that our bodies warn us that something is wrong.

My thoughts on this topic were formed many years ago when I read the story Ten Fingers for God. It is about Paul Brand the man who did much to help lepers in India. I was recently reminded of it when reading a  article about a young woman who has no sense of pain and thus injures herself regularly. It is in this week's NY Times Magazine

I also ran across a video of Paul Brand. It is 25 minutes long and explains how Paul Brand discovered that pain is God's gift to us.

The Gift of Pain: Dr. Paul Brand - Day of Discovery

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