When it comes to standing in someone else’s shoes and feeling what others feel, the most frequently neglected area in which we do this is the area of pain.
John Fischer says
You can’t bring a cup of cold water to someone if you’ve never thirsted
You can’t heal a heart if your heart’s never been broken
You can’t forgive a sin that you’ve never done
Or you never thought you could do
Put that bandage away it’s too small to cover the wound
from “Cup of Cold Water”
Everyone in this society seemed obsessed with pain relief. Doctors, druggists, chiropractors, psychiatrists, and psychologists are all banded together in this fight against the common enemy “pain” both physical and mental. Rarely do you hear that pain might be a good thing, but it can be. It may not be good in and of itself, but it can be good in what it accomplishes. What can pain accomplish?
Pain is an indicator that something is wrong.
Pain opens us up to our real needs.
Pain helps us identify with others.
Pain reminds us of our limitations.
Pain can open your heart if you let it.
Pain grounds us in our humanity.
Pain is a big part of love; you can’t live or love without it.
All those blues songs about love and heartbreak may not be so trite after all. If love doesn’t hurt, then it’s not very deep they say. Ask Jesus about the pain of love, and He would point to that cruel cross, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
Pain is perhaps one of the most important ways, we can touch another human being. It’s one thing to share the same joy – high five at a football game over a touchdown, – it’s another, deeper thing to share the same pain.
Today many are convinced that they are alone in their pain – that no one else has experienced the pain they feel – until someone comes along who has, and suddenly, they are not alone any longer. It doesn’t make the pain any more bearable, but it does make a relationship more empathetic, and real with a deeper appreciation. Pain is a great humbler and motivator it’s hard to say thank you to God for pain but I am.