“How do you live with the pain?” he asked.
The problem is we’re convinced that pain is the rock we’ve been given when we’ve been promised bread. Jesus says his Father doesn’t do this – that even we evil parents won’t do this – but here we are breaking our teeth on the rock of pain.
What the hell!?!
I may not remember all I said, but I do clearly remember saying this. Twice. I thought briefly about self-editing, about watering hell down to a more palatable “heck.” If only we could water the hell out of our lives. But we can’t, and he can’t, so I didn’t.
This wasn’t the arrangement.
This isn’t what a loving Abba would do.
This isn’t what we heard in all those sermons that pitched this whole God thing to us.
But here I am with a mouthful of granite and bits of teeth.
If this is God’s economy, it sucks, and he’s fired.
End of discussion.
But what good does it do to pick up our toys and refuse to play – when this is the only playground and there is no where else to go? I can curse the sun that burns my skin or learn to respect it and move to the rhythm of its rays. It’s the only sun we have. I can curse and then hurl the rock of my pain, but it’s attached to my body and soul like a paddleball. It always comes back, marked indelibly “return to sender.”
Somehow, I need, ironically, to see Jesus’ first temptation actually fulfilled. I need to see the stone turned into bread, the water of my tears into wine. I need to see what I experience as a rock that breaks my teeth as bread that nourishes and feeds me.
This is what I told him, as he now sat there in his pain.
And then I took yet another breath…