Take Time for the Pain – By Harold T. Bryson
In June 1986, Harold Bryson’s marriage of 23 years ended abruptly. Having returned from a trip late one night, he entered the house to find that his wife and sons were gone. Most of the furniture was also gone. A note on the kitchen counter read, “I have decided to leave.”
She gave no reason for her departure and no address for where she’d gone. The absence of his family created shock, disbelief, numbness, panic, hopelessness, and many other feelings. Bryson sat in silence throughout the night. He tried to pray. He cried. In his mind, the tragedy had not happened.
Three years later, Bryson experienced an unexpected teachable moment when he heard Carly Simon singing “I Haven’t Got Time for Pain.” The lyrics hit Bryson in a strange way. He realized that he hadn’t taken his pain honestly—spiritually, theologically, or practically. He had thought that the marriage would mend and the pain would go away. He had substituted fanciful imaginings for hardcore realities. He had tried to escape into work. He had driven his pain deeper into his subconscious, hoping that if he buried it deeply enough, he might forget it was there.
The words of Carly Simon gave him pause. As he evaluated his futile responses to pain, he realized: “You have to take time for the pain.” So he did. In this book, Bryson shares insight gained as he learned about pain and the best help for it, which comes from God.
Harold T. Bryson
Harold T. Bryson is a native of Mississippi. He received his professional education at Mississippi College and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. After his training, he served as pastor of several churches for eighteen years. Later, Bryson was chosen to become Professor of Preaching at New Orleans Seminary. He served that position for seventeen years, and then was elected to become professor at Mississippi College where he served ten years. In both educational institutions where he taught he was chairman of the Preaching Department. Bryson combined leading preaching conferences and preaching in interim pastorates with his teaching responsibilities. As a writer he has written nine books along with numerous articles for preaching periodicals. He is now retired, and he and his wife enjoy travel and time with their seven grandchildren.