What a pain in the neck – or my back or my arm or my leg. None of us like physical pain and when we have it we usually try and do all kinds of things to get rid of it. One really great way to do this is to go to a physical therapist and let them understand the problem and its source, evaluate and act on that understanding and then help us work through the process to regain our strength and health. What they help us do will probably bring us more pain for a short time so that we can have less or no pain for a long time! If you ask me, that is a winning formula! Can the process and treatment we receive from a physical therapist translate into steps we can take to identify, treat and alleviate the pains and malfunctioning of our spiritual lives? The best way to find that answer is to ask a physical therapist, so we did!
Sometimes we forget that life is precious and it is worth fighting for. When someone dies as a result of suicide, that fight has been lost. When we lose a loved one to suicide we might ask ourselves; have we become so entangled in the web of social standing and status that we somehow stepped over and ignore our loved one who was struggling with being able to hold onto the sacredness of life? Were we so absorbed in our own stress and schedule that we were blind to our loved one’s battle or did they do such a convincing job of hiding their pain that the whole thing was just a shocking tragedy? What happened to our loved one that they found themselves drawn downward into a vortex of torment and suffering so dark that they despaired of life itself? How do we better understand and cope with suicide? How does God treat those who take their own lives?
We all have experiences in our lives that hurt. Sometimes the pain in our lives can feel like a flood - an overwhelming tide that is sweeping us away and we feel all alone. So we try to cope. We try to find something to hold onto or something to do that takes our minds away from the pain of our lives. For some of us, especially for teenagers, what they find to mask their heartache is physical pain they can control and inflict upon themselves. As we invest our time today in discussing positive and negative ways to cope, we dedicate our conversation to those who find themselves coping through self-injury. Our message is simple – there is hope and it can be found!
Haiti is a small country, with 8-9 million as their population. It shares a small island with the Dominican Republic. Haiti is a poor nation, as a matter of fact, it is the poorest nation in the entire Western Hemisphere. This small and poor nation happens to sit atop a major fault line in the Earth’s crust. The recent earthquake in that small and poor nation caused death, destruction and horror the magnitude of which has not even become clear as of yet. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands died and countless hundreds of thousands are homeless, hungry and now subject to the next disasters of the aftermath – disease and starvation. Why? Did this have to happen? Could not the Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, have stopped this disaster and saved all those innocent lives?