Beauty and/or Pain

One of the longest serving/participating members of our congregation has been undergoing radiation treatment for cancer. They sent out an email, celebrating that this week that they completed their final treatment.  They shared these photos of the contraption they had to wear during those radiation treatments:


Before I read the email, I saw the photos and the first thought that went through my mind was “Oh, did they go to an art exhibit or something?”  There was something striking and aesthetic about the piece, as if it were a sculpture.    And THEN I read and realized what they were.  This was placed over the person while they were lying on the table, then snapped/bolted down so they wouldn’t move.  Apparently, some people have made art of these “masks.”  Apparently one person took it to a shooting range and shot it up– our church member has not yet decided what to do with it.

One of the greatest capacities we humans have is to take our pain and use it to make something beautiful.  I mean, if you we are going to suffer, you might as well do something with that suffering– whether it is to use what you learn to help others or to use it to somehow transform your pain into something beautiful.  I realize that is a hope I have for one of the things our congregation does– to offer space and support for people to transform their pain.  Such a process is rarely something that happens quickly.  But it can and does happen.

I look forward to worshiping with you all this Sunday: The Power of a Gift–
In our market economy dominated world, we are frequently deprived of the power of a gift– the power to create non-transactional relationships of reciprocity and mutual care. Worship leaders: Rev. Darcy, Brian Wise, and Jorge Torrez.


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