The Pain Problem.

I saw the movie Adrift today. IF you like survivor movies, you’ll probably like it, but it’s very sad I’ll warn you.

It does have some interesting moments where the main character Tami makes choices that would be hard for us to make, and its theme of love getting you through hard things is of course timeless.

And it ties in to something I was thinking about earlier today. About pain. ‘

How do characters in movies handle pain? 9 out of 10 times?

I’ll have to fire some shots at even my favorite superhero flicks for this, because without fail the hero and villain always have a tragic back story. The villain uses pain as a reason to be what they are.

But actually superheroes are not the biggest offenders here. Any melodramatic television show you like has painful experiences as the driving force of the character’s issues. Usually they give some speech about it. Often taking it out on another character on the show.

Am I the only one who ever wants to tell these characters to get over themselves? Like they think their lives are so much tougher than most everyone’s, when in reality, they are probably better, only so much can go wrong on a show, right? Some of you have lived with the reality of one thing going wrong after another every day, it’s not fun.

These shows might be praised for showing raw emotions, but it’s not very real to me, because people rarely act that way, and when they do, it seems blown out of proportion.

It wouldn’t be saying anything new for me to say that we all suffer pain. But have you ever considered why we accept this as an excuse for bad behavior? Why does the stuff our therapy is made of justify the stuff our prisons are full of?

The child who bangs their knee and take out that frustration by hitting their sibling goes to the corner, the adult who does that gets excused because they have a hard life.

I get it, we’re all human and we shouldn’t judge each other too harshly. But it’s not right to act that way regardless.

Is our pain a bad thing? I don’t think all pain is good. Everyone knows the difference between the pain of healing and the pain of damage, for instance. The pain of getting squeezed too hard in a hug versus the pain of being socked by your brother or sister. It’s not on the same level. So some pain is clearly bad.

But what about the pain that seems to come for no reason. The pain of loneliness for instance. If you’re a Christian like me, you may wonder why this happens.

I had lunch with a friend today and we both have had trouble retaining other friends. I imagine we both blame ourselves in part for that, and sitting there, I wonder if both of us were thinking “So where does that leave us?” Do we just repeat the same pattern over and over again?

I have started many friendships that never went very far, even when I really wanted them to. And the problem could very well be with me. But there are worse people than me who manage to retain friends. Haven’t we all met or been that person who never dumps that one friend who is clearly a bad influence and kind of a basket case? Yet they get stuck with.

Heck, what about our relatives who get stuck with, though they don’t deserve it. You ever wonder why the nicer though quirky people can be the hardest to stick with? I am not sure why that is. It could be that we feel guilty for minding their humanity when we know they are good people, while with bad people we can always just complain about them. Go figure.

Many lonely people wonder why no one stays with them. There’s many reasons I suppose. In my case circumstances never seem to line up for it.

How do we handle that pain? And is it bad? How could it be good?

Well, I can’t say when or how, but the age old answer of God’s Timing is the only one I’ve got.

That’s not just an excuse to do nothing, as some suppose, but it is the acceptation that once you have done all you know to do, the rest is up to God.

Pain is not ever going to seem right (unless you’ve got a masochist side) but it can come to make you right again. I have wondered why God uses pain to shape us. But knowing human nature, I realize that nothing else ever compels us to choose as much as pain does.

Think about it, major decisions usually involve pain. Even having kids is painful. But that pushes you to a decision. A crisis fuels you to make a change. Why do people wait till their health breaks down to adjust their diet and exercise habits? Because pain makes it real.

We all wish it wasn’t that way, and I warrant you, God never wanted it that way either. But it is that way. Because we’re stubborn.

But pain doesn’t make us a slave to God. As I mentioned earlier, pain is people’s excuse often enough to do what’s wrong. And though their anger is understandable, it is not right. Because we all hurt, and we can’t make innocent people pay for what we feel.

Pain drives you to do either the right thing or the wrong thing, but which it’ll be still depends on you. The promise God makes us is not that we won’t suffer but that our suffering will lead us to Him, and not to destruction.

And that is the greatest gift of all, from my perspective.

Whatever I feel when I suffer pain myself, I know it leads me back to God.

Check out Adrift, I think it’s a good story.

Until next time–Natasha.

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