The Reality of Fear and Pain

– There is food for us, my brother.
– Already?
– You have been her a long time.
– I did not know it.
– And what have you found?
– Nothing.
– Nothing?
– No, nothing. Only more fear and more pain. There is nothing in the world but fear and pain.
– My brother …
– What is it?
– I hesitate to speak to you.
– You have a right to speak. More than any other.
– Then I say, it is time to turn. This is madness, that is bad enough. But it is also sin, which is worse. I speak to you as a priest.
Kumalo bowed his head. You are right, father, he said. I must sit here no longer.

Cry, the Beloved Country p. 121

Dwelling, dwelling, dwelling on fear and pain. Not just a pity party. True sorrow; true grief; true fear—nor for one’s own safety but for the life and hope of another, a loved one. No this is not “I missed the party” or even “I wreaked my car.” The fear and pain of no hope for what is desperately hoped.

Madness. Madness because there is no bottom to digging that hole. No goal. No purpose to the digging. No end. No healing. Madness. But more than that: sin. Refusing to trust God. Refusing even to cry out, to lament. Refusing to let the comforter comfort. Refusing to hope in resurrection—if for nothing else than ourselves—to one day see the goodness of God in all things. To one day know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. So we must sit there—in the place of self-pity over the reality of fear and pain—no longer. 

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