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The Necessity of Pain

The keeper jabbed his finger at the vellum. “Let her heart be a sign of that promise. You will see, you who have life and aren't grateful; you who speak to an old man who would give his head to see a single day of the life you now have.”
“Keep your words. This pain is no life.”
“You only feel pain because you’re alive, boy!” the keeper thundered. “This is the mystery of it. Life is lived on the ragged edge of that cliff. Fall off and you might die, but run from it and you are already dead!”
“Then I would rather be dead!”
“And Avra’s death will have been in vain. The world fled the precipice of life once. It stripped us all of humanity and established its Order of death. Now you speak like those who conspired to kill every living soul.”
From Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee. It is the first of the trilogy Book of Mortals series. I had read this book before but thought I should read it again before turning to the next instalment. It is the challenge of trilogies that one usually forgets what was read before the next instalment comes out! Forbidden transports the reader 500 years in the future to a world where the only emotion people have is fear.  Dekker and Lee do a great job to build a compelling story that keeps you on the edge and along the way offers challenging thoughts about the nature of life.

The quote above exemplifies the many insightful exchanges that are found within the book. It  reminds us of a truth we so often take for granted : in a fallen world pain is necessary for living. It is mark of being alive. Yes, there are many moments when we wish for the opposite. When the pain appears overwhelming as is the case in the above exchange when Rom painfully loses Avra and can't seem to contain the loss. But as the Keeper reminds him, at the end of day pain marks us out as those who belong to the land of the living. And of course at the deeper level we should add that it reminds us that all is not as it should be! We are not built for pain. It makes us long for a better world to come where there will be no pain or nor tears. When pain is no longer necessary. A world too glorious to imagine! 

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

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