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"Everybody Hurts"
Publication Date:
2/1/2008
Pages:
0
Session(s)
1
Product Type:
Internet Download
Youth Study
Product Number:
TC5023

Everybody hurts. Frederick Buechner says that the theological task and one of the main developmental tasks of adolescence is to learn how to be good stewards of pain. This does not mean to endure needless suffering. His words are a call to learn how to handle pain in a healthy, nondestructive way.

It is hard to handle pain, as Buechner calls us to do, in a stewardly way. That management of human suffering can be hampered by the fact that hurt is difficult to name and identify.

In the video "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M., hurt is identified in a way that is creative and instructive. The video takes place in a traffic jam. We see countless individuals "stuck" in their cars. As the camera scans the traffic, the viewer begins to see hurts typewritten on the windows of the cars. For example, we see a lonely man driving and looking into the back seat. The caption on this image reads, "I can't believe she's gone." The combination of image, caption, and lyrics to this song is powerful. The cumulative effect culls up a genuine response of seeing other people's pain and in some way being able to better name and identify your own.

One has to notice the presence of a strange figure on a bridge throughout the video. The camera shows him throwing pages off the bridge that flutter down to the cars. At first it is not clear what the person is doing, but as words from Isaiah and the Psalms appear on the bottom of the screen, it seems as if he is offering seeds of Scripture to those who are hurting.

This is a powerful video. It is a great resource to get your youth empathizing with the hurts of others, identifying their own places of hurt, and calling on God to sow these words of Scripture into their own broken places.

In order to use this study, the leader needs to be able to show the actual video to participants. It is available free on the Internet, so if your location provides access to the Internet, you can stream it for free during the session. If this is not the case, you may need to download it onto a computer to show. If you do not know how, perhaps some of your young participants can help.

Participants will watch and discuss the video, and then they will look at Scripture and name some of the real hurts in their world and talk about how to handle the pain.

Lisa Nichols Hickman serves as Associate Pastor at New Wilmington Presbyterian Church in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. She was formerly a pastor at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey and has served congregations in Arizona and North Carolina.


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