Pain Carves Out Space
As many of you know, I had a serious health crisis in April, resulting in surgery and a lengthy hospital stay. As I was lying in the hospital bed one afternoon, after days of excruciating pain, a few random words of a hymn came to my mind. I felt there was something in this song I needed to hear. So I texted a dear friend and asked her if she could locate a hymnal and send me the words to all four stanzas. She texted back, "This is your lucky day. I just happen to be here at the church." A few minutes later the lyrics to "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go" appeared on my mobile.
I quickly recognized the message I was looking for in the 3rd verse: "O joy that seekest me through pain. I cannot close my heart to thee. I trace the rainbow through the rain. And feel the promise is not vain; that morn shall tearless be."
Could it be true -- that the pain I was experiencing was carving out space in my soul for joy? Like the Colorado River creating a Grand Canyon that evokes awe and wonder?
Enough Is Enough
Weeks later as I was recuperating from home, I had a very difficult night. Not only was I in pain, I was having trouble breathing. As I lay sleepless in bed, I heard a very distinct voice in my head. Not an angelic voice, but a human one. Perhaps one of you.
"This child has suffered enough. No more."
Think back on a time when you have experienced great pain -- physical, emotional or spiritual. How are you different now than before that experience? How are you the same?
How did you feel when the experience was over?
Who was an advocate for you during that time? Who or what brought you comfort?