Wishing Pain Away

Here are some more quotes I have come across this year regarding my Word of the Year — “Pain.”

When Miriam’s bones were breaking, for instance, if I could have pushed a button that would have stopped not her pain but the pain of her pain in me, I would not have pushed the button because, to put it quite simply, my pain was because I loved her, and to have wished my pain away would have been somehow to wish my love away as well.  And at my best and bravest I do not want to escape the future either, even though I know that it contains what will someday be my own great and final pain.  Because a distaste for dying is twin to a taste for living, and again I don’t think you can tamper with one without somehow doing mischief to the other.  — Frederick Buechner, Listening to Your Life, pg. 146-147

We don’t become cheerful by avoiding what is painful.  In fact, one of the surprising things is that some of the most cheerful people you meet are those most often confronted with tragic circumstances.  The source of the cheerful heart is the conviction that the world and our existence is, at the center, good.  That God is working continuously not only for good but for our good.   That beneath all the misery and pain of our common lives is the reality of grace working toward a predestined good.  If you can believe that, you can maintain a cheerful heart that will be medicine both to you and to everyone around you.  –Eugene H. Peterson, Conversations, pg. 961




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