Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How Can You Ease His Pain?

On the Wooded Path - Impacting the World with Compassion

When our middle child was in the first grade, his dad took him and his older sister skiing over the President’s Day weekend.  This was an annual ritual for our family; however, that year I stayed behind to care for our new baby. 

One day during their trip, I arrived home and checked our answering machine.  The caller ID showed a call from a hospital in Colorado.  Naturally, my heart panicked. 

I anxiously dialed the number of the hospital.  The woman who answered the phone told me that my son was there.  Without any explanation of his injuries, she casually threw out the comment that he wasn’t too seriously injured.  Then she put me on hold to ring me through to his room.  Those were agonizing seconds as I waited for the call to go through.

My husband answered the phone and explained that the ski shop had set my son’s bindings incorrectly.  They were too tight.  When our son fell on the mountain, one of his skis did not release.  He had spiral fractures in both bones of his lower leg.  Not good.  The bones were broken all the way through.  When I spoke to my son, it was very clear that he was in agony!  What made it worse was that I wasn’t there to comfort him.

My husband’s “vacation” became a trial as he took our son back to the hotel to care for him.  I called repeatedly throughout the day to check on him.  Each time, excruciating pain was evident in his small, quiet voice.  Later that evening there came a point when he refused to talk to me at all.  His suffering was so great that he couldn’t tolerate anyone even slightly bumping the bed, and he couldn’t talk on the phone – even to me.

Because of the distance between us, the only way I had been able to care for my son was through my voice on the phone. It was such a small, insignificant thing in light of his circumstances and was truly a helpless feeling. Now, even that tiny avenue of care was ripped away from me.  I was left with nothing.  No way to reach him. No way to help him. All I could do was pray . . . and rely on those who were with him on the trip to care for him in my place.  I prayed they would!! 

When Christ sees people suffer, his heart aches - just as I ached for my son; yet many people reject him in one way or another eliminating a point of personal connection. There is no way for him to personally reach them or help them. He then relies on those who are in the physical presence of the people who are hurting. We are Christ’s ambassadors and representatives.  As we make ourselves available to Him, the people of the world have the opportunity to experience the love and grace of the living Christ through us. As we care for others, we ease His pain too just as those who cared for my son in my absence eased mine.

 “The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church.  The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.”  Ephesians 2:22-23 (The Message Bible) 

 How does it make you feel to know that when you ease the pain of someone Christ loves, you are easing his pain too? As his ambassador, how can you comfort someone today?

Warming the World Together,