‘and wherever the will conferred by the Creator is thus perfectly offered back in delighted and delighting obedience by the creature, there, most undoubtedly, is Heaven, and there the Holy Ghost proceeds.’ (CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, 88) The first question is why our cure should be painful: to ‘render back the will which we have so long claimed for our own…to surrender a self-will inflamed and swollen with years of usurpation is a kind of death’ and we have grown cleaver at avoiding death, ‘hence the necessity to die daily’. But, see pain in its context, that is, when we are comfortable with self–the self that is not truly itself. Surrendered to the Creator, death (i.e., pain) is pleasant (whereas pleasure for only self–which isn’t truly itself–is a kind of pain).
I muse over pain because of the daily pain I feel, the sensation in my joints and nerves that irritate and fatigue. This pain that drapes a veil over my brain to suffocate as would cellophane, my thoughts, ideas the connections and information I must hold together, snuffed out in long, frustrating struggles for existence. And then, by some mysterious occurrence the cellophane becomes porous, a breath of existence–life, meaning–seeps through, eeking out the bit that must be, the tiny piece of information or insight that might be of use to another being and making me a sort of instrument of peace and hope. But in my own way. In a manner that is unique to me. Yet, the pain….
The pain most perceived is the one that effects ones affections the most. I can manage the searing lightening bolts that burn down the length of my legs or across my shoulders infecting the joints but when it seizes my brain and truncates my memory and the catalog of words that ooze through the crevices a reminder that they once where there but cannot be retrieved without enormous effort, I am tempted to despair… and then… some sort of rest, and urge to release (surrender?)…the ideas and words and connection slowly emerge, present themselves to be manipulated and published, and the recollection that I will be who I am. why do I strive so?
9Then my soul shall rejoice in the Lord,
exulting in his deliverance.
10All my bones shall say,
‘O Lord, who is like you?
You deliver the weak
from those too strong for them,
the weak and needy from those who despoil them.’ Ps 35