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Helping Those in Pain

When your own body works fine, it's not easy to minister to those whose bodies are in open revolt,

Six years ago I wrote a book called Where Is God When It Hurts? and letters have come in response from all over the country. They have surprised me, moved me, and sometimes shamed me. Many have come from hospital rooms. Some were written by mothers of retarded children and some by people with terminal illnesses who have since died.

I must confess that my contacts with suffering people have caused me more than a little embarrassment. In the first place, I enjoy fine health, interrupted only by a minor cold or sore throat every couple of years. I run twenty miles a week, in all weather, and do pushups daily. Just about everything in my body works the way it is supposed to, and when I am around suffering people I can't avoid a nagging sense of guilt.

But mainly I am embarrassed because I know myself too well. I give a seminar on "The Problem of Pain," and afterwards a lady approaches me. She recounts a series of twenty-seven surgeries to counteract the effects of a rare and degenerative disease. ...

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