The Work of the People

films for discovery & transformation


Hard but hopeful Films on Lament & Pain & Struggle & Suffering 

What is the role of pain in the human journey? Where is God with all the pain in the world? What does pain have to do with theology, the Eucharist, discipleship, empathy, unity, resurrection, identity, and growth? What does it say about our inability to create space to hold pain in community? These are some of the topics explored in this list of a few films around pain and struggle we've highlighted below. Although the pieces and topics may be hard to sit it, hopefully, ultimately, they'll nurture healing and new life.

Prophetic Intrusions & Lament - Soong-Chan Rah on bringing back the narratives that intrude and disrupt the world around us. HERE 

Called to Hope - Norman Wirtzba on learning to love, learning to lament and learning to look for the light - To become human. HERE 

What is the Darkness? - Why can't the dark put out the light? David Ford talks about Jean Vanier's reflections on the Passion of Christ. HERE 

Pain and Good News - Krista Tippet talks good news and the role of pain in the human journey. HERE

Discipleship and Pain - Walter Brueggemann on the Discipleship process. HERE 

Infinitely Trustworthy - James Finley on unity through suffering. HERE

Worship, Pain, and Justice - Are we faking our way through happy worship? Soong-Chan Rah the role of worship, lament and justice and building community through a shared life of pain. HERE 

Crazy Love Math - In love, 1 plus 1 doesn't equal 2. Matthew Russell sees resurrection in places of pain where it doesn't' make sense for love to grow. Maybe God is making all things new. HERE

You Are Dust - Sara Miles on the good news about dust and death. HERE 

In the Depth - With all the pain and struggle in the world...where is God? Thoughts from Rowan Williams HERE

Shame and Vulnerability - Author Brené Brown on our inability to create space to hold pain in community. HERE 

Broken is the Beginning - Glennon Doyle Melton, author of the NYT Bestselling Carry On, Warrior and founder of, encourages not to avoid the pain that comes our way in life, but instead, to allow yourself "to be burnt in order to be light.” HERE

Pain and Marching - Pain that is given voice is pain that is empowered. Pain that is tranquilized and privatized is made into a commodity of guilt. HERE 

With You Always - Danielle Shroyer why she thinks it's good news that Jesus and God suffered. HERE 

The Human One - “Chosen crosses” are hardly ever “crosses.” Richard Rohr on the conflict and folly of the of the Cross - That the cross is not a mechanical atonement thing, but an invitation into solidarity with human suffering. HERE 

Pain and Theology - Ruth Padilla Deborst on the relationship between pain and theology. HERE 

Brutiful - Glennon combines letters to make words that may be ofensive to some]. In this third film of her "Beautiful Rowdy Prisoners" series, Glennon Doyle Melton, author of the NYT Bestselling Carry On, Warrior and founder of, encourages us to embrace the beautiful and brutal that comprise the best parts of this Brutiful Life. HERE 

Everyday Resurrection - Spiritual director, and contemplative Juanita Rasmus tells her "lenten" story - A journey from death to life, from depression and shame to love and new life. HERE 

Descripting Tasks - Spiritual practices to nurture an alternative script. Walter Brueggemann on the prophetic vocabulary of pain and Eucharist. HERE 

Empathy - Empathy is the practice of suffering and the capacity to have learned enough of God and ourselves to be awake to others pain. Empathy involves telling our stories of pain, suffering and it opens up spaces of undefendedness. We love because we've first been loved. Oh, and by the way, there is no program for this. HERE 

Holy Holes - Why do we still have pain and struggle in our lives even after a relationship with God and Jesus? Glennon Doyle Melton, author of the NYT Bestselling Carry On, Warrior and founder of, on the life-giving nature of our "flaws" and “weaknesses." HERE 

A Transformed Cross - Is God vulnerable? The resurrection is the Cross transformed, not undone. Thoughts from Richard Rohr. HERE 

Into the Darkness - Parker Palmer talks about going down and in the darkness versus going around it. HERE 

Lean Into It - Author Sarah Bessey talks about the struggle and pain of birth. Literally. In a parking garage. Sarah invites us to lean into the pain and struggle of our lives and not to fight it - New birth is just on the other side. HERE 

Loss of Self - Why is the church often afraid to descend into the broken places with others? Ron hammer says you know God in a different way when you suffer and that without that story…we get an incomplete picture of God. HERE 

Rebirth and Recovery - “I need prozac AND Jesus." Recovering addict Glennon Doyle Melton, author of the NYT Bestselling Carry On, Warrior and founder of, on avoiding pain vs. sitting in it and being transformed through and out of it. HERE 

Status Quo - Is the church's voice mono-lingual? Are we too quick to deny our pain? Walter Brueggemann talks about the alternative voice of the wounded. Through the wounded we have honest access to our pain. HERE 

The Big Answers - Are there big answers to the pain and struggle in the world? Or, is looking for the the big answers just a distraction? HERE 

The Texan - Peter Rollins shares a story about embracing our brokenness. HERE 

This is not the End - “Christianity doesn't ignore the pain in the world, it goes through it and provides hope beyond." Dwight Peterson on anger and pain. HERE 

Bring it into the Light - Nish Weiseth on the transformational nature of honest and vulnerable story sharing. HERE 

Authentic Theology -  Greg Boyd on growing and testing theology in the most painful places. HERE 

Smashing Idols through Pain - Can you trust that what comes into your life is for you? Barbara Brown Taylor on breathing in pain. HERE 

Jesus Wept - Author Brené Brown on why the church should be more like a midwife than an epidural. HERE 

The Downward Way -  Growth comes from pasing throuy the narrow way of death and resurrection - Michael Frost on the downward road. HERE 

Crucified With Christ - NT Wright on curing our disease of death by handing over our lives over to Christ. HERE   

Give Up And Die - Aaron Edwards talks about his condition, “The Suicide Disease,” and surrendering to Jesus. HERE 

Enlarge Life - Jean Vanier on growth based on the capacity of your heart to be broken. HERE   

Welcome To The Human Race - Parker Palmer on the unifying power of acknowledging our weakness in community. HERE  

Deny Yourself - Does our addiction to militarism, consumerism and entertainment reflect Jesus' call? Pastor and former editor of Sojourners magazine Joyce Hollyday invites to create systems of mass construction, not mass destruction. HERE   

Powerlessness - Powerlessness is not a weakness, it's the wound the sets the journey into motion. There is a power that is benevolent and on your side. God longs to nurture you. Get ready to come to the end of your own resources. God is not holding your over a fire like a spider. God is your Father watching and waiting for the first sign of your return...Waiting with a ring, robe...and a party. HERE   

Death and Transformation - Richard Rohr on the transformation that comes from dying to our own egos and formulas. HERE  

Divine Sorrow - NT Wright talks about the recent death of his father the hope Christians should have and practice at a funeral. HERE  

The Texan - Peter Rollins shares a story about embracing our brokenness. HERE 

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