Tuesday, July 3, 2007


I came across the following observation by Dr. Paul Brand (center in photo), quoted in Where Is God When It Hurts by Philip Yancey. Brand, who worked extensively with persons with Hanson's disease (leprosy), points out the importance of feeling pain--to the body, society and the Body of Christ.

"Individual cells had to give up their autonomy and learn to suffer with one another before effective multi-cellular organisms could be produced and survive. The same designer went on to create the human race with new and higher purpose in mind. Not only would the cells within an individual cooperate with one another, but the individuals within the race would now move on to a new level of community responsibility, to a new level of relationship with one another and with God."

"As in the body, so in this new kind of relationship the key to success lies in the sensation of pain. All of us rejoice at the harmonious working of the human body. Yet we can but sorrow at the relationships between men and women. In human society we are suffering because we do not suffer enough."

"So much of the sorrow of the world is due to the selfishness of one living organism that simply doesn't care when the next one suffers. In the body if one cell or group of cells grows and flourishes at the expense of the rest, we call it cancer and know that if it is allowed to spread the body is doomed. And yet, the only alternative to the cancer is absolute loyalty of every cell to the body, the head."

"God is calling us today to learn from the lower creation and move on to a higher level of evolution and to participate in this community which He is preparing for the salvation of the world."

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