Here’s another of those insights that many of you probably have already figured out. But I share it on the chance that a few of our visitors may be even more spiritually immature than I am.
As you know, I’m a big fan of Dennis Prager’s radio show. Today he was promoting a charity called CURE International, which provides medical services in the Third World.
He talked with a physician who told a story which intersected (in my mind) with something I was thinking about, and gave me an insight which, frankly, frightens me.
The doctor told about a little girl whose legs were deformed in some way. They dragged her to the operating table, he said, screaming, “Don’t touch my legs! Don’t touch my legs!”
But, he said, you should have seen her face when they removed her casts some time later, and she was able to stand straight for the first time in her life.
And I thought, “You know, that’s just like me.”
One of the things I’ve always feared (fortunately I’ve avoided it so far) is breaking a limb and needing to have it set. The thought of somebody grabbing the very part of my body that just got hurt, the part that I want most to protect and favor, and giving it a sharp yank, just gives me the willies.
It’s the same way in our spirits. When we’re hurt, our natural instinct is to protect the injured place. To let nothing get near it.
But often the only way to fix it is to hurt it. I think that’s why God so often seems cruel. What looks like sadism to us is actually His practitioner’s hand, manipulating us back into the right place.
This doesn’t solve the Problem of Pain, of course. That’s a huge and protean leviathon, almost as hard to master, in its way, as suffering itself.
But I think it may account for some of the pain in our lives.
Now all I have to do is act as if I believe this.