Commemoration of Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1942 I know there are many who have pitied my beginnings, thinking it tragic that I had to endure such traumas both as a child and throughout my life, but I confess that I have rather pitied those who have never tasted the bitterness of a trial "too severe." For how is one to appreciate the contrast of light's dawning hope if his soul has never trembled through the dark hours of a nightmare's watch? Or how can one prove God's faithfulness if he never is granted the privilege of wandering through a barren desert, where only pools of Christ's Presence can possibly provide survival? It is a great honor to be apportioned pain. Christ Himself, though God incarnate, learned obedience through what He suffered. Dare we assume that we as His children can be taught by any wiser or kinder instructor than the severity of unwanted pain? We dare not steel ourselves against our trials, running away from the fires where our pruned branches crumble to ashes. For if we escape those flames, we will risk barrenness of soul and will miss out on the beauty that only is born through the ashes of yesterday's grief.