We all remember Dorothy, poor girl stuck in a fantasy land with her dog and three idiots. All she wanted to do for the entire story was make it back to Kansas, back home. Unfortunately for her the journey home was not a short one.
But, I don’t want to spend any more time on that story because I’m sure we’ve all heard it. The story that I want to tell is quite the opposite. It’s not the opposite because Dorothy’s story is bad. It’s the opposite because this story is real. This story is a story that we all face. This story is a story that challenges all people. This story is a fact of life.
The story always starts the same way. It starts with rejection. It starts with failure. It starts with anger. It starts with brokenness. It starts with something we never wanted and never expected, pain.
Life is full of pain that labors to pull our hearts and souls downwards until there is no lower to sink. Pain pulls down because he is all about triumph. He lives for victory over our joy. Pain is jealous of our happiness because when happiness is present pain himself does not exist. And he wants to exist.
Lately I have found myself facing pain on all different kinds of shorelines. But before I go any further, I need to say that this is not a “pity me” entry. I am hoping to not just address my pain, but the pain of all kinds of people. People hurt around the world in every tongue, tribe and nation while the majority of us continue to ignore them because WE don’t hurt at the moment. And that is the true problem.
The problem is that all people want to exist for themselves, myself included. We forget that pain is real until we are immersed in its depths. And once we are there in the deepest cave all we want to do is tap our red shoes together and mutter, “there’s no place like home.” But you see, the path of our pain in life does not have a yellow brick road to follow. There is no road map to a consistently painless life and there will never be one, no matter how many self-help books you buy (notice I said “buy” not “read” …But reading them won’t help you either).
So what I want to say in all of this is that pain is not something that should ever be faced by just one. Pain NEEDS to be faced by all. When others are hurting we should be reminded that battles won alone aren’t usually battles. AND pain affecting one of us can quickly affect all of us. So let’s be mindful and reach out to aid other people and destroy pain.
Disclaimer: There’s is no guarantee on a ticket back to Kansas even if we do decide to help people.