Tag Archives: Pain

A Word to the Wounded

17 Feb


I didn’t expect this to happen. I didn’t want this to happen.
But now it has come, and its weight slowly settles onto my shoulders and back.
Like a storm moving in, removing light, removing warmth, removing hope.
The earth beneath my feet has turned to mud. I sink, I slip, I fall.
I am now dirty, wet, tired, and broken.
My burdens once bearable, now seem impossible.
I try to rise, but a misplaced foot leaves me where I began – face first in the mud.
Lying still on the ground, a sickening solace fills me – driven to a point of exhaustion and hopelessness.
I contemplate a choice to let wind and water reign.


Storm from Flickr via Wylio

© 2015 Jussi Ollila, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio


But then I feel a presence – a familiar warmth, a stirring memory.
I lack the strength to look up, but I know who has come to me.
Fearing not the mud would stain his garments of white, he bends the knee.
Strong hands gently lift the weight from my back.
Part of me is not ready to release it, but I let go.

He lowers his hand – scarred and calloused.
Moments ago, there was not the strength to reach, but with no burden, a desperate lunge found me in his grip. The warmth of his hand, seeped down into my cold spaces, awakening life within.
I stood to my feet waiting for the storm to end, and all to be made right.
The moments passed, yet the wind and rain only grew in its thirst to overthrow me.
I clung to the One beside me, who alone made each step possible.

Searching to find a way out, my eyes stray.
I stumble and almost fall – steadied by Him who walks beside me.
I dare a look up into his eyes wanting to apologize for the mess I am in.
Expecting judgment and disappointment, his eyes are wholly other – filled with confidence and love.

At that moment, I know everything will be okay.


This poem was written in memory of Eric Harms.

Dad as Protector

10 Jan

Christmas 2012When Josiah was born, I remember the first time that I took him in my arms. I carried him like a fragile flower. I didn’t want to put him down, but felt as if he was safest in my arms. There he was protected, and I never wanted to let go. The years have passed, and Josiah barely fits in my arms. Even if he did, his energy level doesn’t allow him to slow down. Josiah spends his days running here and there, trying to keep himself occupied.

Today, in the middle of a friend’s birthday party, he fell and broke his arm. I was not there to catch him, save him, protect him. I wish I had been there, and kept him from the pain and suffering.

As I sat in the emergency room, the what ifs invaded my mind bringing with them feelings of sorrow and frustration. Why did it have to be him? Since birth, my son has had a broken leg, a broken finger, and two other broken bones.

It is not fair. It is not fair to him, and definitely not fair to me.

So why?

In that moment, I remembered that God is in control and not me. God has a plan for my little boy, and I need to accept that His plan includes a broken arm. I may not like it, or want it, but I have to live with it. His plan for Josiah may bring me to tears, or anger. However, there comes a point when I need to stop fighting, whining, and crying, and step forward in faith. A faith in God’s love. A trust in His care. A Hope that He will see my little boy through.

As I sat in the x-ray room, I took my first step – a step to trust that God has a plan. I braced myself as they put my little guy under, and prepared to set his arm. Tears rolled down my checks as I embraced that even pain can come from the hand of the Father. The lab tech, worrying that I was about to faint, asked me if I needed a chair. I sat down, and begin to feel relief. I am not sure if it was from the chair or the freedom that accompanies faith.

Today it was a broken arm. Tomorrow it will be a broken heart. Many things, good and bad, will come upon my little boy. Some that I like, and many that I won’t.

My arms can’t keep him safe forever, because God didn’t design us merely for protecting our children. Instead, God designed me for trusting – a concept that I find much more difficult.

What I am Listening To – Tell Your Heart to Beat Again

17 May

The last several weeks, I have made some huge transitions in life by moving across the nation and changing jobs.  This has greatly affected the time that I have to write and post.  However, I am not done, and I have plenty of material that I have been producing.  EA Resources has also hired a staff member to help me keep up with the work, but I will share more about that in a later post.

I have been sharing some posts for those who have been severely hurt by the church.  I use the expression PTCD (post traumatic church disorder) to describe those who have so wounded by the church that it qualifies as a traumatic experience.

I am a survivor of PTCD.  This week, I wanted to post a link to a song that has given me great hope and encouragement through this journey.

Danny Gokey is the artist, and you can check it out here.brian gokey


Jesus Asks Why

22 Jun

jesus on crossAnd about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46 ASV)


Have you ever asked God why? I have.  At various crossroads in my life, I have whispered, cried, and screamed those words.

Sometimes uttering those words brings a flood of guilt, and makes me think that I am lacking faith, misdirected, or simply sinful.

Don’t get me wrong. I am those things [lacking faith, misdirected, and sinful] on a regular basis; however, asking God why does not require any of those things to be true.

I know because Jesus, the sinless Son of God, asked the same question.

He knew God’s mission, but that knowledge made it no easier. In the garden, he prayed for another way, but His prayers did not bring any relief.  With tears, he asked that His cup of suffering might be taken away.

In the midst of his suffering, he cried Why.

This brings me comfort because it is good to know that He understands. He felt the loneliness, the darkness, the pain. He sees how suffering causes me to question God’s presence, and doubt God’s approval.

Asking why can be an expression of our faith as we wrestle with human emotions and our freedom.

Asking why is our reaching out to feel God’s peace in our pain.

005Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.  He is the father of three boys, and the husband of one amazing woman.

Wake Me Up When It is Over.

29 Apr

Recently, my church performed the song, “Wake Me Up” by Avicii. 

Here is my reflection on why we often want to skip through life.


turn in autumnWe want to skip to the ending without feeling the weight if the story. We want to arrive at the destination without a scuff on our shoes. We want to experience the victory without being in the battle. We want the results without putting in the time. We want the goods without paying the price.

The end of the journey will be better with calloused hands, worn out shoes, familiar scars, and memories.

These are the things that will make it real. These are the things that make it not a show we watch, but a life we experienced.

So I will open my eyes and look around me. I will embrace the pallet of colors drawn around me both light and dark. I will put my hands to the plow though my hands are blistered. I will take the next step into the darkness because I know what lies ahead. I will take a deep breath of the air though I feel its toxicity. I will put away the distractions that have numbed my pain and cause me to sleep.

I will work for that which is unrealized on this earth. I will keep my eyes on that which is unseen. I will keep my ears tuned to the voice if the shepherd. I will cling to the one who is not the God of the end. He is the God of the beginning. He is the God of the entire journey.

If I reject the moment, then I am rejecting Him.

When God Says No

22 Jun

To many in the Christian faith, and in America in particular, the existence of pain and evil in the world is an abstract concept, much on the same level as astronomy or chemical engineering. They know it exists, have seen it evidenced in things like the Holocaust, poverty, and cancer, but it’s not anything that carries any sort of weight on their lives.

Until something happens to them or someone they love.

Then it’s real. Then many abandon their faith.

One of the main reasons I have heard or read for a person leaving behind Christianity goes something like this: “Would a good God allow this particular suffering to happen to this particular loved one? How could He go back on his promise to always answer our prayers?” Continue reading

Why Do Bad Things Happen? God Where Are You?

19 Apr



I had the pleasure of leading the discussion with the young adults at my church this week.  Considering the circumstances surround our city of Boston, I thought it appropriate to discuss why do bad things happen, and where was God in the disaster?  These, at least, are questions that people tend to ask in our current day and age following a disaster.  My heart aches for the people and families affected by the bombing at the Boston Marathon, I wish there was an easy button to return life back to normal for them.  Not only were they affected, but I’ve already heard stories of people who were there that are having a difficult time sleeping because of what they saw. The images of war were brought to my city in such a terrible way, and many of my fellow Bostonians and even international visitors were affected.  

I don’t remember such terrible events happening when I was a child, but it seems as though now a days they are becoming prevalent.  I think back to the Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11, Columbine, Sandy Hook Elementary, and now the Boston Marathon Bombing; these are just a few.  The other day as I drove I thought about what might happen years from now.  What types of things might my daughter’s generation see?  All I can do is continue to pray for my family and ask God to keep them safe and out of harms way.  All of these events made me ask, “why do bad things happen, and God where are you in these circumstances”?  Continue reading

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