An Encouraging Word: Help beyond the pain

Published 8:46 am Friday, March 17, 2017

By HOWARD COOP

Have you ever been there? I have, and it was not pleasant.

Alone with my loss, my heart ached unbearably. My world, I thought, had collapsed. The moment was dark, and the future looked exceedingly dim. The pain I felt seemed unbearable. Have you heard the old expression, “The bottom dropped out?” At the moment, that’s how I felt. 

Then, I saw some words of Rosamunde Pilcher, a British romance novelist that, at the moment, did not help one bit; they just rubbed salt in my wounds: “Beyond the pain, life continues to be sweet.” When I saw those words, my first thought was: What does that woman know about life? Has she ever experienced real pain? Yes, I thought, life will go on, but will it ever be “sweet” again?

Then, after a moment, I realized that I had jumped to a conclusion and formed an opinion before I had finished Mrs. Pilcher’s statement. I discovered that she went on to say, “The basics are still there: Beauty, food and friendship, reservoirs of love and understanding. Later, maybe not now, you are going to need others who will encourage you to make new beginning. They will help you move on, to cherish happy memories and confront the painful ones with more than bitterness and anger.”

What an eye opener that was! I realized that, in the darkest of moments and in the worst of times, all is not hopeless, for there is help beyond the pain. As Mrs. Pilcher so poignantly said, I do not need to fear.  My basic needs are met, and in the darkest moments, I have what I need to make a new beginning. Good friends are with me to encourage and help me. In every situation I face, I can count on them, for they are loyal and true. For at least 2,300 years, it has been proverbial that “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” That, in any situation, is encouraging.