2015-05-20 - Pain
Originally Published 2013-06-06
As shown in dictionary.com, pain seems to include virtually everything outside of "joy," "delight" and pleasure. So the word includes quite a wide range of options. The result of each type of misery known as pain can be important to the one inflicting it upon its victim. However, pain itself has nothing to gain from its presence in any form. It can't want anything. So anger toward it is useless, especially if there is no one inflicting any pain, and there is nothing that has been done to bring it upon oneself. I have looked upon pain from many different angles, in the less than five decades I have spent on Earth. As time passes, I have come to view it differently.
As a child, I learned about pain falling off my bike, getting hit with and tossing snowballs with friends and their siblings, falling off the tree vine onto my back after it snapped, after it having carried me through the trees so many times. I called people names, and got sent to the curb at recess, pushed people around that pushed around those I cared about, and got sent to the office for trying to make a point - first in a non-violent way that erupted violently into a most painful moment.
Other painful moments came as a slightly older child, but it wasn't always about the physical. Once while taking part in "current events" time in fifth grade, I learned a family member became a news story. After letting them know this fact, we moved on to another current event. Once I came home from school, to find out a family member had died in a car accident. It was as if the oxygen was sucked right out of my lungs. My mind went to the last time I had seen them. Sometimes pain is emotional and quite personal.
As an adult, it's been a mix of physical, emotional and even spiritually challenging. My heart aches for people who need to be protected due to disability, or because they are sick or just older, for people who don't have what they need when so many have so much excess. My anger becomes a painful spiritual battle, when I see people injured or just taken advantage of for no apparent reason other than purely selfish or even evil motives. I would be more worried, if I didn't feel anything regarding the suffering of others.
So what good can come from pain? One way is to help ease the pain of others, perhaps. You can work in a manner that brings joy to others, helps relieve pain, encourages others and in turn brings them confidence that there is hope. Or you can volunteer, doing some of those same types of things, or even a combination of both. For every ugly and painful experience in your life, you can choose to share joy, and that gives hope - and ultimately hope comes from the Father of lights. So now it's time for me to work on whatever my next phase in the process of sharing hope might be. If I can bring a smile to someone's face, help him or her sigh with relief, or realize they do matter, then not a minute of my life has been wasted.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)