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Some arbitrary joke life plays on us

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By Dave Henning / September 28, 2019

“And all of us, no matter what we face, want to know that we aren’t alone, that hope exists on the other side, that this isn’t all some arbitrary joke life has decided to play on us.  Ultimately, we want to know that our time in this wilderness will transform into a blooming, healing, beautiful, deep spiritual garden.”- Aubrey Sampson

In Chapter 7 (“When Pain is Chronic: The What-Might-Have-Been Lament”) of The Louder Song, Aubrey Sampson deals with the long-awaited diagnosis of her auto-immune disease.  It turns out she has rheumatoid arthritis.  Due to this disease, Aubrey feels disempowered.  Above all, the author contends, she suffers in the worst way – silently.

Furthermore, Aubrey stresses, unlike productive labor pain, ongoing or persistent pain:

  • creates chaos
  • lingers and leads nowhere
  • comes with no beginning and no end
  • compares to white noise – it’s always on in the background of your life

Hence, Aubrey cites Pastor J. Kevin Butcher.  In his beautiful book Choose and Choose Again, Pastor Butcher writes:

“Truth be told, we’ve felt so little healing, so little love, that we struggle to pray, struggle to sing and are desperate to know what to do next.”

In addition, Aubrey observes that everyone fights some sort of chronic battle.  As a result, everyone struggles to know what next step to take.  For example, her husband Kevin, a pastor, often deals with the loneliness of leadership.  And, in my case, I was downsized from my teaching position in a Lutheran grade school.

Finally, the author offers these poignant closing words:

“We long to experience Jesus and the power of his resurrection.  But sometimes the process is slow.  After all, it’s hard to accept that we will never again be who we once were.”

Today’s question: What in your past or present feels like some arbitrary joke that life plays on you?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Looking backward: former-glory laments”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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