The Problem of Pain

While walking through the deepest pits of human suffering with people, so often I hear the question “Why?” To face the reality of the presence of pain in our lives is one of the most difficult endeavors. A Google search to the question, “Why is there suffering in the world?” revealed answers by various religious organizations, including Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism. The most common religious answers sound something like this:

  • God gives humans freedom of choice, and we choose against his prescribed way of living, thus creating pain and causing suffering in our own lives and the lives of others.
  • God is either not powerful enough to stop pain, He does not care to stop pain, or He is evil and revels in the pain that wreaks havoc in the world.
  • God allows pain because He plans to use it in His great Redemptive Plan for His creation.
  • God uses pain to discipline and instruct His children.
  • God uses pain as a “megaphone” to get our attention, or as a warning against further evil.
  • The Bible says that “suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope.”
  • And finally, “Ultimately, we can’t know all the reasons God allows pain and suffering, we just know that He does.”

I do believe Scripture supports the majority of these explanations, but consider this: Continue reading

A Well-Lived Life

I have had the pleasure (and the frustration, at times) of living in both rural and urban locales during my life. As I’ve done some pondering during these beginning stages of CarePoint, some important aspects seem to be reflected in these rural and urban settings – urban environments create the possibility of greater community while rural environments create the possibility of greater reflection. It is both of these – community and reflection – that we believe are essential to a well-lived life. Without community, we are in danger of going astray or becoming self-focused. There is a strong possibility that we end up justifying or rationalizing our behaviors because we lack accountability. Without reflection, though, we are in danger of pursuing things like a dog pursuing the next squirrel. Here, the ditch we might fall into is sacrificing depth by filling our lives to (or even, beyond) the brim. Both of these paths leave us living a superficial life.

Here’s where CarePoint comes in. In our own lives, we have found it beneficial to have someone objective to walk alongside us or to lean on when the silence or loneliness is too heavy a burden. As such, we believe that the process of reflecting and opening ourselves up to others (i.e. living in community) can be healing, encouraging, and strengthening. Continue reading