Avengers: Infinity War
It’s the current hot topic, doubtless. The epic film ten years in the making, bringing together all our favorite heroes in a fight for the very universe against a deranged villain of immense power. It’s all been leading up to this.
The film has taken the world by storm with its all-star ensemble cast, intense action sequences, and compelling story (which we will not discuss here. Like I said, spoiler-free.).
For those of us who have seen it, however, we were left speechless and shocked, still trying to process what we had just witnessed. We saw characters we love dearly go against insurmountable odds and suffer excruciating losses. And except for discussion among pockets of fellow viewers, we’re required to keep silent and hold it all in.
Sometimes, life is like that…
Sometimes, we witness or experience something earth shattering; something that renders us shocked, confused, and broken. It leaves us desperate to talk about it, yet somehow unable to do so for whatever reason. We’re left unable to vent, unable to process what we think and feel.
Life can be just as cruel as the Mad Titan Thanos.
We may not be able to discuss our wounds with those around us for whatever reasons. Like the fear of how those around us may react or view us when we reveal what’s happening behind the curtain. Perhaps we’re unable to talk about it because we’re convinced no one can possibly understand. Maybe we keep silent because we’ve convinced ourselves what we’re hurting over is stupid and asinine, and that to feel that hurt is in itself stupidity or weakness.
Either way, in the aftermath of our own personal Infinity Wars, we can end up feeling broken, lost, and alone.
For anyone in this place right now, I would like to offer some comforts to you: things I’ve learned that help to ease and heal the pain of life, even if it’s only slightly and slowly.
You Are Not Alone
You may feel cut off, separated, and completely alone. You may feel unwanted or unworthy of the company or help of others. You may believe no one else feels your pain. But it’s not true. You’re not alone. For one thing, we have a Savior who has taken on all our weakness and pain, who knows sorrow and strife intimately.
What’s more, the world is full of everyday heroes ready to come alongside whomever may need them. They’re not clad in capes, spandex, or armor, but they’re around, and they’re ready and willing to open their hands and hearts.
The great Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers himself once said:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”
Look for the helpers. They’re out there, everywhere, even in your neck of the woods. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable to the people God brings into your life to help you heal.
It’s Okay To Hurt
When life is cruel and we find ourselves scared, dumbfounded, and wounded, we’re hit with a slew of messages. “Get up and quit crying.” “Just hold it in.” “Just ignore it.” We’re so often told we have no license to feel our own pain. Let me be clear: This is a lie!
You have every right to feel your pain. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, scream yourself hoarse. If you’re in a place of hurt and confusion, those feelings are yours; no one has a right to tell you you’re not allowed to feel them.
Besides, you cannot bandage and medicate a wound you’re trying to hide. In times of anguish, it’s more than okay to throw stoicism and poise out the window. It’s necessary to grieve, and the tears we hold in become toxic.
Even if what’s eating at you seems idiotic, still allow yourself to feel the pain; otherwise, nothing gets better. Accepting and feeling our own pain will also allow us to be the helping heroes to other wounded souls among us. To care for others down the line, care enough about yourself to feel your pain.
In his book “The Lorax,” Dr. Seuss famously said:
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Don’t let anyone cheat you out of your own pain or say that what you feel is insignificant. Accept it, feel it, grieve it. In that, God can strengthen you to help and heal others.
The Story Isn’t Over… The Sequel Is Coming
Life may leave us broken and empty with seemingly no resolution. But literature, cinema, and even history have constantly taught us this lesson: it’s always darkest before the dawn.
All seemed lost for Rohan at the battle of Helm’s Deep. Then, at sunrise, Gandalf appeared with Eomer and his riders.
Death and defeat seemed certain as Darth Vader’s TIE fighter closed in on Luke Skywalker. Then Han Solo and Chewbacca came soaring in on the Millennium Falcon.
In the heat of World War II, it seemed as if the Nazis would take over Europe and then the world. Then came D-Day.
You get the idea.
There are often moments, both in fiction and real life, where the odds seem insurmountable and all looks to be lost. The loss and pain you feel may make everything seem as if any hope for anything better has faded.
But the story is not over, and you are far from beyond hope.
Psalm 30:5 reads:
“Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
2nd Corinthians 4:16-17 reads:
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
The final chapters of the Bible do not take place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. They’re in a beautiful city where God’s people live in joy and peace with him. There is hope ahead. No matter what, God wins.
The coming hope isn’t only in the next world, but also you’re present one. You will be able to heal. You will be able to go on. You are not worthless, defeated, and forgotten. You are a child of God. You are valued, you are loved, you are made in God’s image, your life has meaning, and your story is not over.
Just as Infinity War left myself and many other viewers shocked and shattered, our lives will often do the same to us. You may be in this kind of place right now. If you are, embrace your pain, know you’re not alone, and know that the story does not end here. You are a beloved child of God, and in that, you can take comfort.
Spoiler alert: You’ll be okay.