'Pain is God's megaphone to speak to us' was the phrase that stuck in my mind as I reached for the medicine drawer again this morning. It had been a painful night, despite huge amounts of a morphine based slow-release pain medication. Early morning found me sitting curled up on the side of the bed rocking to and fro in agony and crying out to God for relief. Despite three major surgeries in the last year my pain is no better - in fact, it's worse (wasn't there a woman in the Bible who spent all her money on doctors and didn't get well, as they only made her worse?). It was then that phrase went over in my mind like one of those 'Name That Tune' ditties. I was too sad, too tired and too jaded to even find out who said it and why.
Uncharacteristically for me, I uploaded the statement to my Facebook status and started a long list of contributions from people who know me. One from a close friend reminded me that it was C.S.Lewis who used the phrase. I ferretted around in my bookshelves and found the guilty script - the magnificant 'The Problem of Pain'. Just finding it has helped me today. I have realised my mistake. My tortured mind offered me a misquotation from the Maestro. What he in fact said was this. 'God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.' And he said it in 1940 when there was quite enough pain to go round and plenty to spare.
You wouldn't use a megaphone to speak to anyone close would you? No, nor would I. But Lewis is making several points and among them is the comparison of how much we can learn about God from our pleasures, our consciences and our pain, and obviously the pain gets the biscuit even though we want to relegate it to the bin. Also, the real target of God's megaphone is 'a deaf world'. You see, we go through stuff so that others, usually even more deaf to God's words than we might be, may catch His message through the way we trust Him, and by His grace we hold on to our faith when we want to scream and let go.
Lewis also makes the profound point (well he would wouldn't he?) that we may ignore the voice of conscience, or even the point of pleasure, 'but pain insists upon being attended to.' Wow, that's why so many people read his books. As for me, if I had a megaphone, you bet that the world would know that I'm hurting too! Mind you - I've got me blog haven't I?