Journey 1 Day 31 – Creativity and Suffering

31 Jan

The final day of January, My Journey is a Month old, and its not therefore that long until Journey 1 will become Journey 2! I’ve begun to think quite extensively about my Journey 2 theme of simplicity in relation to food consumption (and reducing it), Car use (or the lack of it) and cutting spending (at least on ‘luxury items’). Some more ‘creative’ thinking is needed but it proves to be quite a challenge and quite a journey. I definitely will have some helpful resources to inspire me in the form of the Tearfund Carbon Fast and the Breathe

Ok, I’m stalling and yet further delaying my exploring! I’ve deliberately ignored exploring the relationship between suffering and creativity. But feel its a theme I can’t completely ignore. I want to embrace the reality of life in yes the good times but also in the pain and the struggles.

Its a theme that picked up in Rob Bell’s brilliant live tour and booked entitled ‘Drops Like Stars‘.

“We plot, we plan, we assume things are going to go a certain way and then they don’t and we find ourselves in a new place, a place we haven’t been before, a place we would never have imagined.”

Suffering does that – it hurts, but it also creates.Rob Bell’s brilliant work explores the endlessly complex relationship between suffering and creativity.

Its hard as thinking through the suffering of friends, family and in my own life, although it has built character and empathy, its so hard to go through and see others go through that it leaves big questions of why, and very often seems to bring a feeling of emptiness and struggle rather than creativity.

And yet out of great pain, anguish and injustice can come such hope, healing and change. It seems that so often the drive and movement for change comes from a time of suffering. Ending Apartheid in South Africa, The Arab Spring and many other movements have come from that deep rooted sense of restlessness and discontent.

I saw a truly moving and beautiful film today as part of the Inside Out Course. It’s the story of Patsy Mckie. Patsy had the truly awful experience of losing her beloved son in a shooting incident in 1999. Incredibly, although not all all easy, out of this pain came the amazing story of hope. It was particularly inspiring to me as I myself was held up at Gunpoint back in 1996 in the same area of South Manchester.

I’m inspired by these stories and inspired by the support I’ve given and received in times of struggle. I’m also challenged and humbled by the importance of being able to ‘cry out’, be honest and be raw and for that to be ok, for questions, doubts and struggles to come to the fore. Life is messy, faith is messy and to be able to embrace that, walk in that and see somehow, often in almost miraculous ways, new approaches and new paths found is simply amazing.


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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Change, Journey 1, Journey 2


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