(This is the next segment in a book I agreed to read and review, Beauty In The Wreckage: Finding Peace In The Age Of Outrage, by Brandon Andress, scheduled to be released October 9. If you haven’t seen my review of Chapter 1, you can find it HERE find Chapter 2 HERE, and Chapter 3 HERE and apologies to Brandon for getting behind. Watch for the rest of the chapter reviews today. Order your copy starting Oct. 9)
A More Beautiful Suffering
For me, this chapter contains a forgotten truth that will become the beginning of the turning point for those who find themselves amidst the wreckage of life as it happens. The forgotten truth is that pain and suffering does not spell the end to beauty in life. Rather it is the portal through which we can begin to see beauty. Notice I did not say “See beauty again.” Brandon clearly delineates that suffering is NOT beautiful but how we view our suffering, ultimately determines if we can see not only “beauty”, but the greatest of all beauties: the living Presence of our Heavenly Father.
Once again Brandon does not over simplify the pain that the wreckage produces, nor does he offer simple platitudes and Facebook’s cute sayings. But through his insights and words, he does reveal the simple truth that is liberating for everyone who finds their life in the midst of this wreckage. Brandon presents, in his own words, “another reality”. When you finish reading this chapter you WILL be at a defining moment in your life: Will your reality be your pain, or will the reality be with the Healer of our pains? The challenging way he writes leaves the reader no escape when it comes to answering this most important question.
He speaks and writes out of his own experiences. He does not write from theories and hypotheses, but makes himself vulnerable to the reader with his raw honesty. There’s only one other writer that presents honesty more raw than Brandon–Solomon and his book Ecclesiastes. The Goal is Shalom, but with kindness and compassion, reminds us all that there can be no Shalom until we bring the hurt, that “wound”, to the Healer and then allow The Healer do what HE does best: Setting prisoners free!
Here is what I would consider yet another great profound yet forgotten truth in our culture. Not in a condemning way, Brandon points out that our current culture doesn’t understand suffering. It is indeed often trivialized and this only leads to that deeper despair when real and deep suffering occurs. Our culture’s obsession with avoiding suffering has resulting most people seeing suffering as an end and destination, rather than a means to something better.
A closing thought: Brandon does not encourage us to seek suffering; but to seek the one who is THE Expert in redemption and transformation.
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to HIM!