We have all, at one time or another, experienced disappointment, pain or sadness. I’m talking about the deep, wounding afflictions that make you wonder if it’s all worth drawing your next breath.
For those of you that have no idea what I speak of- you will. Not to be the voice of doom, but such is life. In order for life to be full, it requires an assortment of experiences, one of which is suffering.
Pain is a four letter word (rightfully so). Even though the definition is very straight forward, pain can be extremely subjective. A good example of this is when you go to a hospital and are asked to “rate the pain.” You know what I’m talking about, the chart that goes from 1 to 10, with all the expressions on it. Those were the first emoji’s- we just didn’t have a name for them yet. It’s always a struggle to select the right pain number. The nurse needs to know there is pain, but you don’t want to appear weak either. And how do you pick 10? Do we truly even know what the worst possible pain is? Would we want to? No thanks!
And, it’s an especially interesting conversation when people try to compare pains. For example, giving birth vs. a tear in the meniscus. Unbelievably, my ears have heard that conversation more than a few times.
Thankfully, we don’t argue over emotional pains, to include grief. Can you imagine? The emotional pains are the ones that lay bare, but are not visible. That people may inadvertently poke with a stick and without knowledge disregard the torment inflicted.
I will never forget losing my father. The roiling pain and anguish seemed too much to bear. And then, I received a message from my friend just a week after the death of my father. She asked that I pray for her because she was on her way home- her 23 year old son was just found dead in her house. (He had an enlarged heart that was never diagnosed).
And then, I started to compare an emotional pain. I had my father for a very long time. He was amazing and we never left anything unsaid. My friend had lost a child- I couldn’t imagine that kind of pain…I didn’t want to.
There is a very interesting side to the word pain. The word “pains” means: to take trouble, care or effort to accomplish something.
It means that sometimes after a tragedy, it requires great pains to deal with pain. To find the strength to breath, to get up in the morning, to hold tightly to a hope that seems fuzzy through the tears.
I have turned my back on hope, I have childishly refused it, and I have found it difficult to spot, but it is there…it is always there.