The Power Of Pain

August 18, 1998
by Ken Stright

Matthew 11:29 – Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

A story is told about a rabbi [a teacher], and one of his students. One day the student comes up to him and says, "Teacher, I love you." "Do you know what hurts me?" "No," says the young man, "I just wanted you to know I love you." "But," the old man responds, "don't you understand? You cannot love me if you do not know what hurts me."

To know someone is to know their pain and what brings them sorrow and suffering. Christ invites us into the intimacy of the cross and the cross is the embodiment of his suffering and pain. Christ invites us into the yoke with him, into the life of the suffering servant, the person of pain, the man of miseries. Our Lord lets us bear the burden he bore, and the reality is that it is only light because he bears it with us, but, as we bear it together, we are bonded into the deepest friendship with him. We are invited to bear the pain, and in bearing the pain, we find the power of pain. It's like the young boy who went over to his neighbour's house after the neighbour's wife died. "What did you say?" asked his parents when he returned home. "I didn't say anything," was his answer. "I just got on his lap and helped him cry."

Prayer: Help us to help each other, Lord, each other's cross to bear. And let Christ carry us to the cross… and beyond. Amen.

About the author:

Ken Stright <kennethstright@yahoo.ca>
Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, Canada

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