Those are two words you rarely see together, but they come from one of our listeners writing about the harsh betrayal of a friend and how it was going to help him discover the forgiveness that Jesus knew. He wrote, "It is excruciating beautiful to learn of it." What an accurate description of the transformative journey. When we can celebrate the painful stretches of our journeys as an opportunity for us to go deeper into the reality of Jesus, we're on to something. Embracing his work in the difficulties of our lives can only happen when we don't see God as the agency of our pain, but the Presence in our story inviting us to greater love and healing. And yet, our circumstanes, especially our successes, push us down a diferent path, where power, money, and fear can draw us away from genuineness and authenticity in the desire to grab the greatest can we can for ourselves.