Joy & Pain

[This poor post has been sitting here in an open tab for at least a week and a half – I can’t seem to totally finish it, but I’m just gonna post it anyway]

Two little words. Joy. Pain.

What comes to your mind when you think of these two words?

It seems that there is so much pain and so much joy around. How can they co-exist side by side? How do we relate to joy when we’re feeling our own pain and how do we remember and empathize and feel other’s pain, when we’re in our own joy season?

There’s joy. Of course, the obvious joyful things that we celebrate. Little Isabella Rachel came into the world safely a few weeks ago. Weddings and more weddings — last week Kevin & Beth became husband and wife and on Saturday a whole host of people witnessed Jason & Rachel’s marriage vows. (YAY!!!! :D)

And there’s the pain.

There’s the public I-can-see-it-clearly pain. Deaths, accidents, sickness, broken families and relationships, disasters, abuse. Famines in Africa. Turmoil and soul-wrenching heart cries and sad eyes. And there’s private pain. Drench-the-pillow-with-tears-because-it-hurts pain. Betrayal, deep down scars, inward wounds.

The entirety of the world’s pain can be overwhelming. We can’t feel and care for and absorb it all — only God can do that. But we also can’t let the enormity of it overwhelm us. It’s so so important to zone in on seeing and caring for the people around us. In our family — our church — our town — our community — in “our world.” By caring for their pain, we become a small part of tangibly touching and feeling and caring for the world’s pain.

A few people that come to my mind — There’s Barb, who gave me a huge hug on my last day at Sips and said, “I love you!” I know she craves attention and love and what did I really do to touch her life? There’s Doyle, the sullen guy who constantly walks around town, any time of the day or night. (I finally know what his name is and that he was in a bad work accident years ago –but no one really knows much else) There are Don & Janet, the local 8o+ couple whose entire house burnt to the ground over on S. Valley last week.

Sometimes we can’t prevent the pain. But we can walk beside the person trudging through mud puddles. (I think this card is just the most adorable card ever!!)


It all comes down to how we care about other people, no matter the season we’re in.

The rest of my thoughts are really scattered… so if anyone has anything profound to share about how to balance joy and pain, I’m all ears. 😀


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