We tend to think individualistically regarding self inflicted pain. But the need to cry out for help during distress and the flawed idea that the immediate destructive gratification of this self harm is a sort of beneficial action that will somehow result in the pain vanishing forever is a trait that is common to humanity as a whole.
As you take a step back into the æther and look down on the collective “Human” it seems all too clear that in the attempt to escape hopelessness and relieve torment, Human allows and inflicts atrocities upon itself in its misguided attempt to cry for help to whatever, whomever, or just to the abyss of uncertainty. Human just keeps allowing more pain in an attempt to deal with pain. War, poverty, hunger, no access to clean water, sex trades, abuse, pollution, the refugee crisis–the wounds are too many to count. Many of these could be eradicated through uniting together as Human. Sadly that concept has become a silly notion of an idealistic few not steeped in reality.
You would assume followers of the Christ would be the first to apply salve to the wounds without hesitation. To be fair, the Church does many good works and has individuals tirelessly giving of themselves to help others as the Gospel commands. But an astounding amount of the Christian population remains disengaged from Human due to apathy, selfishness, politics, or sheer ignorance largely because a church culture has emerged that has taught self prosperity rather than selfless giving, self-empowerment rather than selfless living, hip and cool rather than cross-bearing, and sadly – here in America – it has aligned itself with political parties and economic systems.
(Note: In later writings I will address the destructiveness of the Word of Faith movements and the Prosperity Gospel that has swiftly gained momentum in the church especially in places like Australia, Africa, and the United States.)
Yes, the church body is not immune to this self harm–not immune to this crying out. We are still a part of the collective Human but we are slow in easing pain. We have been conditioned to painstakingly consider a myriad of points like politics, economics, church doctrines, and group affiliations before we follow the Gospel. And we actually believe going through those useless pains will help us deal with pains correctly and more effectively. That is a lie a body tells itself when it is in distress.
Hunter S. Thompson said, “I hate pain, despite my ability to tolerate it beyond all known parameters, which is not necessarily a good thing.” Instead of healing we tolerate it. We hold on to it and become ineffective in a world crying out–sending us spiraling down to something less than Human – something less than what we were created by God to be.
Taking care of immigrants, refugees, or our environment should never lose out to politics.
Helping the poor should never lose out to growing a church.
Clean water and hunger initiatives should never lose out to worship production budgets.
While humanity cries out, we can be comfort. But we need to return to our created purpose which is reflecting our Creator’s character, love, and selflessness to His creation before considering anything else. That is dealing with pain. That is the life of Jesus. We can help Human heal and show it what it was meant to be.