Friday, May 23, 2014

Sorry, I Do Not Feel Your Pain

President Bill Clinton popularized the line: “I feel your pain.” 

He could say it with such pathos in his voice, you felt - at first, anyway - that he just might do that.

I suspect that line is said too easily and too often. And I can almost guarantee that hearing the words does not give comfort to the one hurting.

For the last several years of his life, my father had cancer of the throat and lungs.  He had a great deal of trouble breathing.

There were times when he would look at me with pained eyes and say, “You have no idea of how it hurts.

And I didn’t.

I could see the pain.  Imagine the pain.  Empathize with it.  But really, I had no idea.

Only he and Jesus knew the depth of it all.

I was outside of his pain, a spectator at times, a participant at times, but always outside of.  My heart hurt for him, but I was helpless.  He may as well have told me he was being tormented by aliens from Mars for all the good I could do him.

Anyone who looks at another human being to “feel” his pain, to understand it, and sympathize with it, may be assuming a burden to heavy to bear.

No one can actually feel the depth of your pain.  It is enough that they are there for you.

There is only One who truly understands your pain and knows what it feels like to be you.  His Name is Jesus Christ.  He is touched with the feelings of your infirmities (Hebrews 4:15).

He knows.

So don’t be too disappointed in your husband, or wife, your counselor, or your pastor, for not being able to enter your pain and experience it the way you do.

In a real sense, you don’t want them to.

Truth be known, you wouldn't wish that agony on your best friend.  Furthermore, it’s a tough job to be called to suffering – so why not you?  (smiley-face goes here).

If I’m sick and in the hospital, I don’t want the nurse weeping and blubbering all over the place every time she enters my room. “Oh, Mister Ron, my heart is broken over what is happening to you.  This must be a crushing experience."

NO THANKS.  Take your pity down the hall.

I want her upright and strong, clear-thinking and capable of doing her job!  That’s the best help she can give me.

I don’t need you to “feel” my pain.  Just appreciate the fact that I am feeling it and help me as much as you’re able.

The rest belongs to Jesus.

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