Pain, and Grace, and Wisdom


Some truth is universal. No one religion or sect can claim it because it covers us all. I recently read this passage out of a Greek tragedy written by Aeschylus, whom some would label the father of Greek tragedy:

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.

Though he wrote it almost 500 years before Christ, though he worshipped a different god than me, Aeschylus captures a powerful, sobering truth in his tragedy.

We can learn in classrooms. We can learn through observation. We can learn by reading. Inevitably, though, it seems that we gain the most profound lessons and wisdom when we experience unbearable pain.

Against our wills.

Kicking and screaming.

But by grace, we can find a redemptive note that vibrates and  resonates through the chaos of that suffering.

So I hope that you, in your moments of pain, and I, in mine, can be still, breathe, and listen for that beautiful note.