Before the Joy—Pain

April 20, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 5 Comments

“He [Carl Jung] understood that the full journey towards wholeness must always include the negative experiences (the “cross”) that we usually reject.” Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ

How do I write about this day without sounding like a preacher? How do I tell a story of the “good news” without getting into the darkness that precedes it? And how do I tell the story of the darkness without sounding like a wild man on a street corner screaming hellfire and damnation?

I guess I start with the truth, as I perceive it, through Holy texts, through prophets and preachers, and mostly through my own life experience in light of Holy texts, prophets and preachers.

Truth be told, it is not my story. It is the story of one man. A man whose name we are all familiar. The man, Jesus of Nazareth. The man the world awaited for millennia to come to restore the planet and all that inhabits it back to the goodness found in the early days of creation of human beings.

In the beginning, the world was created by goodness, for goodness, and in goodness. Six times the Creator called his creation good, and on the seventh time, at completion, he called it “very good.” But then sometime later humankind took matters into its own hand, in defiance of creation intent, and brought on the darkness, or the shadow side. From that time until now we have had to endure a departure from inherent and everlasting goodness. One that includes suffering and pain that, when handled wisely, can lead to great joy.

Only since that time pain is part of the process and continues to be until what I like to refer to as the final restoration, or the New Heavens and New Earth in which there will be no suffering and pain.

All this because of the incarnation of the Christ into Jesus, his life of teaching and healing, and most importantly his unimaginable suffering, death, and burial. After which, he restored humanity back to hints of original goodness, when on Easter Sunday he rose from the dead, giving opportunity for blessed life in the midst of pain and suffering.

It is said that because he suffered in the same way we suffer he understands our proclivities for shortcomings, heals them and provides a way for us to once again have direct communion with the Creator. It becomes essential then for all of us to embrace our pain (whether self-inflicted or other-inflicted), come face-to-face with Jung’s shadow side, and then accept the gift of restoration, the greatest of all joys—restored to communion with God, the Creator.

That’s the best I can do…

Embrace Your Pain

And Accept Your Restoration

Photo courtesy of RomoloTavani at istockphoto

5 thoughts on “Before the Joy—Pain”

  1. Thank you this.
    It was perfect!
    I was reminded how Bill Wilson wrote a thank you note to Carl Jung.

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