It’s this uninvited little guest that lurks in the corners of our heart. Sometimes it reaches up and takes away our smile. It’s reflected in our eyes. Pain follows us around and steals away our joy.
I keep thinking about the young lady and older man who came into Sips for lunch yesterday. I walked by several times, and they were sitting in agonized silence. He was leaning forward, gazing patiently at her as she stared at her half finished sandwich and napkin of lined up pretzels. There they sat. Obviously, something was wrong.
I have no idea what was going on. Maybe she has anorexia and he was coaxing her to eat. Maybe it was a father/daughter lunch date and she wasn’t willing to discuss some tough issues. The point is, often we have no clue what is going on behind those hollow eyes and sad smile. People are carrying around pain and staggering under heavy burdens. It’s everywhere. Just open your eyes and take a look around you.
Sometimes it’s right in front of us, and we don’t even realize it. In the people closest to us, and in ourselves.
I thought of this recently, for I have this annoying little splinter in the bottom of my foot. It’s been there for over two weeks now, and I’ve just been ignoring it. Bad idea. When it was fresh and small, I just brushed it aside and didn’t deal with it. Now it’s this nasty puffed bump that is fast becoming a big problem. Some of the time I forget it’s even there, but there are certain times where it hurts like crazy. It’s alerting me that there is a problem, and the longer I push it aside and don’t deal with it, the worse it’s going to get.
Hmm, sounds familiar.
I tend to feel other people’s pain deeply. But when it comes to my own, often I shove it down and try not to touch it. All those feelings of rejection, or guilt, or worthlessness, or betrayal of trust. Nope, not gonna go there. In the long run, ignoring it is not going to make it any better. My “splinter” will just grow and become worse.
Pain is not a bad thing. It’s just an alarm buzzer going off to remind us that there is a problem, and there are issues to deal with and wounds to heal. When we’re willing to step forward and deal with our issues and our pain head on, God can do such an amazing, redeeming work in our lives. He wants to redeem our hurts and our pain. He wants to wipe away our tears and soothe our troubled souls.
How do you deal with pain?