Giving Pain a Reason

Posted on May 15, 2017

“Not one thing in your life is more important than figuring out how to live in the face of unspoken pain.” ~ Ann Voskamp

I collect coins. I especially love the coins I’ve found that are still in circulation.  I once got change at a Taco Time for a couple of burritos in which I found a 1910 penny. That was amazing…

I think I love coins because each one has been on a mysterious journey. I also love the metaphor they so humbly illustrate with their flip sides. I really believe that every aspect of all our personalities has a flip side. I also think it is a possibility that there is a flip side to pain. As I laid there, pinned down by the crushing weight of my son’s tragic death, I suddenly started to wonder:

What is on the other side of this coin?

Not long ago, I decided to turn that grievous coin over…and see what was on its other side. Or at least to try. This coin is very heavy. It weighs so much it has broken my health and my heart many times. But I was surprised by the Grace I discovered on the other side of my coin. That Grace has started to slowly give itself a reason. Many reasons, I should say.

I know each one of us has struggled. Life is not easy for any of us. And everyone experiences their life’s struggles differently and uniquely -just like everything about each person is uniquely a miracle that was never before and will never occur again. That fact in and of itself should be a very good reason for each of us to cherish ourselves. God spent thought on each one of us. He cherishes each one of us that much.

I have wondered many times about why God would bother to create all the different colors He did. Or all the variety of flowers; some hidden deep within the woods, like the trilliums that only bloom once every seven years…

And all the wonderful and strange creatures under the sea that no one but Himself may ever even look upon. The Every Change of Shade in every moment. With all of this in mind, imagine the careful thought the God of the Universe put into the infinite hues of our personalities–shapes, sizes, colors, and every aspect of our brains that make each one of us the only us that will ever live. People are complex. So is pain.

But not too complex for Our Maker.

He holds the coin of the reasons. And I knew He would help me with the weight of my anger and bitterness. He would help me flip my coin over if I asked Him to. 

For a long time I was too angry with God to even talk to Him. I think I have decided to stop just lying there under the weight of that coin. So I’ve started to talk to Him again. And I feel a little bit better now.

Who is on the other side of my coin…?

On the flip side of my coin, I have discovered- or perhaps I should say remembered the me I had forgotten. I was going to need her to unearth and do what I was made to do. This is the me I found:



This Tricia lives inside me and always has. But in the haze of a brain and a heart so overwhelmed with sorrow, depression and fear for so long, I forgot all about her and what she was like. It turns out that I like her a lot more than the person I had become. She is authentic and natural. Now that I found her … I am praying to be more like her again. For me, the first step in this journey lies within true and unvarnished communion with the true and unvarnished Christ.


The Bread and The Wine…

Holy Communion. Jesus holds the bread and He breaks it with His own hands. Then says to us, “This is my body, broken for you.” He takes the cup of wine and says to us, “This cup is my blood, shed for you. Take it and drink of it.”

Why we ask…? He hears the question before we ask it; He turns and looks at each one of us deeply–straight into our eyes. His answer:

Do this in remembrance of me.”

What does He want us to remember? And what does He want us to do? A rictualistic once a week or once a month thing?

I don’t think that’s what He meant. I think He meant something more like this:

“Be willing to give your entire self to me in the same way I surrendered everything for you. Surrender to me as I surrendered to my Father. Deeply. Profoundly. Completely. Come to me and rest in my nail-scarred hands. Let my love break you with the same obedience I let my Father break me. Then I will make the blood that flows from your brokenness into…



What then is The Remembrance?

I have sat in church for many years and eaten the little cracker and drank the little cup of grape juice. And prayed to be able to really examine myself before Him. But as necessary as it is, is that what He wants us to remember?

Suddenly, as I was pondering all of this last week, something occurred to me that for all these years had escaped my notice. My epiphany might be obvious to many other people. But for me it was a blazing light, so bright that it lit up everything around me.

For me, this is the true Remembrance.

At the Last Supper, Jesus broke the bread. He broke it with His own hands…and then gave the broken pieces to us.

To all who are broken and suffering, the Risen Christ extends this invitation:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28


Pain has a reason.

Maybe its reason is that we might at last find home…


everything else seemed to come together... My creativity, my love of helping hurting people, my belief in art as a healing agent and my faith in a God who is filled with love for us all.
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2 Responses to “Giving Pain a Reason”

  1. Rob Z says:

    Just what I need as I face another week of radiation.

    • Tricia Woodworth says:

      I’m so sorry to hear you have to continue treatment, Rob. I’m glad my writing was able to
      encourage you in even the smallest of ways.
      Much love to you and Maree,

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