Sorrow Under the Skin

Rev. David Petersen over at Cyberstones has a very nice post about sorrow and mental illness. He is particularly talking about how difficult it is to get into the shoes of another person, to understand their suffering. We all suffer, but each person’s pain and sorrow is their own, and none of us can judge or lay claim to fully understand another person’s trials.

-DMR

Sorrow Under the Skin: “”

2 thoughts on “Sorrow Under the Skin”

  1. It was a nice blog post and I agreed with much of what he wrote.

    I did notice something that I think is important to point out. I think the reason I noticed it is because it is something I used to do. It is the mistake of relativizing when one should not relativize. There are times it can be a mistake to try to minimize trials/tribulations because all people suffer. Or to relativize that all people carry the same load of stress. At first glance, it makes sense, but in some cases, it is not good to standardize the situation, just as making a situation overblown is not good. As always, wisdom and discernment are needed.

    I believe this needs to be pointed out because generalities can sometimes be detrimental to getting well or getting help if you cannot admit the severity of the stress or the problem at hand. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. Sometimes, one has to recognize how serious or unusual something is before one can deal with it appropriately. It is important to face the truth squarely. There truly are experiences, trials, and tribulations that exceed or that are uncommon to what the majority of people will ever experience. Thankfully, I will never know the depths of all that it means to be a holocaust survivor or the object of en masse evilly inspired racial or ethnic hatred.

    I did notice something else that I questioned and that is pervasive in popular Christian culture. I think it is a fallacy that God will never give you more than you can bear. I do not believe that there is scripture to support this position, but I do believe that the scriptural truth is that his grace is sufficient. I believe that I learned this distinction because of some extreme circumstances. On more than one occasion, I did not have the inner resources I needed for a situation. The strength, the words, the composure, and etc. that I needed came from someone else – not from me. Someone gave me these things. I believe that someone was the Lord.

    In short, I found that his grace was sufficient and he carried me on his shoulders through some extreme situations. The Lord gave me what I needed to get through situations that were beyond my human abilities, yet let me fall apart later when I was in a place where I was safe from harm and the situation was over. I find it hard to clearly explain what it means to be given that kind of grace. All I know is that on more than one occasion God gave me the ability to handle what was far beyond my own inner resources to bear or manage. I do not think I am unique in receiving this kind of grace.

  2. It was a nice blog post and I agreed with much of what he wrote.

    I did notice something that I think is important to point out. I think the reason I noticed it is because it is something I used to do. It is the mistake of relativizing when one should not relativize. There are times it can be a mistake to try to minimize trials/tribulations because all people suffer. Or to relativize that all people carry the same load of stress. At first glance, it makes sense, but in some cases, it is not good to standardize the situation, just as making a situation overblown is not good. As always, wisdom and discernment are needed.

    I believe this needs to be pointed out because generalities can sometimes be detrimental to getting well or getting help if you cannot admit the severity of the stress or the problem at hand. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. Sometimes, one has to recognize how serious or unusual something is before one can deal with it appropriately. It is important to face the truth squarely. There truly are experiences, trials, and tribulations that exceed or that are uncommon to what the majority of people will ever experience. Thankfully, I will never know the depths of all that it means to be a holocaust survivor or the object of en masse evilly inspired racial or ethnic hatred.

    I did notice something else that I questioned and that is pervasive in popular Christian culture. I think it is a fallacy that God will never give you more than you can bear. I do not believe that there is scripture to support this position, but I do believe that the scriptural truth is that his grace is sufficient. I believe that I learned this distinction because of some extreme circumstances. On more than one occasion, I did not have the inner resources I needed for a situation. The strength, the words, the composure, and etc. that I needed came from someone else – not from me. Someone gave me these things. I believe that someone was the Lord.

    In short, I found that his grace was sufficient and he carried me on his shoulders through some extreme situations. The Lord gave me what I needed to get through situations that were beyond my human abilities, yet let me fall apart later when I was in a place where I was safe from harm and the situation was over. I find it hard to clearly explain what it means to be given that kind of grace. All I know is that on more than one occasion God gave me the ability to handle what was far beyond my own inner resources to bear or manage. I do not think I am unique in receiving this kind of grace.

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