Survivors of natural disasters such as the Haitian earthquake will admit that they’ll never forget the impact of such a fearsome event for the rest of their lives. If you’ve never been denied a healthy and normal lifestyle, which many regretfully lack, a life crammed with perpetual pains is sure to seem eerie and impossible. In fact, a compassionate mission to an Intensive Care Unit would yield knowledge and a change in sentiments.
Arlene Kauffman’s account in Stronger than Pain has the same effect. It will leave you asking one single question over and over again: How could God allow so much pain and setbacks to ravage His own?
Stronger than Pain is such an emotional and traumatic account that is better imagined than witnessed. Arlene had to endure the rout of her youthful life at the hands of savage medical infections.
A simple limb fracture was eclipsed by a flurry of other complex conditions such as pancreatitis, which later became chronic, then a hyper-thyroid condition, the cutting off of her organs. The list never seems to end: all from the tender age of six!
With occasional recoveries, and also dramatic side-effects, relapses and even notorious setbacks. Arlene proved to be resilient, as she did freely exercise her strong faith in God.
Despite her bravery, the young lady had to cope with the deep pains of an absent father, the self-pity of being a burden and of no use to her family; nevertheless the love of her siblings never wearied out, until her last breath a few decades later!
Crucial, however, is the kind of beautiful and warm spirit she displayed to everyone, including other patients and medical teams she came into contact with: they all had something endearing and inspirational to say about her.
And in recognition of her simple ministry, Arlene never gave up but saw pain (though she had to be propped with heavy morphine dosage) in this light which is intriguing: “I need to remind myself periodically that if God takes something away from me, He will give me something better. It may mean trading my life here on earth for a home in heaven. It may mean trading health for a deeper faith and a unique ministry in suffering. My experiences of fear and pain and distress all have one word stamped over them: temporary”!
This summarizes the perspective of a heart open to allow God to demonstrate with her life, that His Grace is able and potent enough if He wishes to heal her, that pain is unable to kill the character and virtue endowed every man! Regardless of the tremors, traumas and pains God is very much for Us.
Stronger than Pain is that book every man should read so we can appreciate whatever feature,or health we have individually. It doesn’t matter whether we’re tall, small, fat, or even disabled; our lives can be purposeful and stronger than pain -- if only we’ll seek to appropriate the Grace of God.