Article – Pain on the Brain

Written by Brandon Ryan

“Pain and death are part of life. To reject them is to reject life itself.” quote by Havelock Ellis.

So this is my first official article for Enoch Magazine and needless to say, I am so so stoked to offer some heartfelt thoughts for you all. I went to bed last night searching for words and topics that seemed relevant for our time and culture. We need stories and poems and letters that are honest, that are drenched in compassion and we need them to be written by people who have gone through the fires of life!

I want to talk about pain, and the presence it has in our society this very moment. I believe with all my heart that we are not meant to turn our heads from pain, we are meant to take it in full force and feel its full weight. Let me also clarify that pain and suffering is not pretty, it’s not something we smile at and cover up with bandages in hopes that the pain will heal on its own. Sometimes we need to open up the wound and let the pain bleed out on its own; only then can we hold our hands over the wound. I want to turn our hearts and minds over to the life of Christ for a moment. After all, this is the heartbeat and soul cry of Enoch: To make the love of Yahweh (another name for Jesus) known in a world and society starved of truth and hope.

Who wouldn’t want a love where one would lay down his or her life, for the redemption of someone else? Most people, if they are honest, are not apposed to this translation of Christ. So how then does Jesus respond to our pain? Well. He enters into it, and we can see this throughout the sacred love story that is the Bible.

Take for example: Mark 9:20-22

The verse focuses on a farther with a son who has been having seizures, (the text describes it as convulsions). The boy’s farther fears for his sons life, and what farther wouldn’t? When I was a young boy, I had a very dangerous seizure late one night. My Mom held my tongue with her fingers, preventing me from swallowing it, which can happen. My Dad called 911 and from my understanding, the ambulance drove right passed our house! So my Dad went running in the dead of night to wave them down.

But back to the verse: When Jesus shows up, he doesn’t heal the boy right away. Instead, he asks the boys farther, “How long has he been like this?” This is a very personal question Jesus is asking, its heartfelt and venerable. In a way, he is almost saying: “My friend, I am sorry for your grief and the agony of your own son.” Jesus is embracing life and confronting it in a bold loving manner.

So let me leave you with two questions to ponder:
1) What have we been turning our faces from in our lives?
2) How can we better learn to have the same empathy for the pain of others, as Jesus did for the boys farther?

Shalom to you all.


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