I still remember how it felt when I missed the final step and went sailing into the air, landing on my right foot. As I lay in all my glory on my son’s living room floor, with the whole family as an audience, I knew my foot was severely injured. While I won’t bore you with the whole story and all the details, suffice it to say it was a long night in the hospital in Baton Rouge.
At times the pain was breathtaking, and I could feel myself getting more and more anxious. Everything in me felt like saying, “Hey, I’m in pain over here. What’s the holdup!” I could roll my eyes, sigh with exaggeration and demand to speak to someone. That’s what I felt like doing.
I sensed the Lord was telling me to be nice, but I didn’t feel like being nice! I knew God was saying, “Don’t sacrifice kindness on the altar of your pain.”
While in severe pain, I made up my mind that I was going to be nice to all the personnel who would be assisting me that night. We were in an emergency room, with a lot of people waiting. That meant lots of needs, lots of pain, lots of impatience.
The choice was mine. How would I act and how would I react?
It was a long, painful night, with lots of slowdowns and lots of beating around the bush as to what should be done with my broken toe, foot, ankle and leg. I chose niceness. I was in enough pain to want to be anything but nice, but nice and treating people respectfully would be my choice.
After many hours of dealing with many different people, which eventually turned into several days of dealing with different people, I made a decision daily and sometimes hourly to just be nice and kind. I expressed my needs, my pain and my desires, but nicely.
One day, a caretaker said to me, “I wish all of our patients were like you. Sometimes we get “cussed” out for things we have no control over. Sometimes they yell at us for telling them the doctor won’t be here for another thirty minutes. I have no control over the doctor.”
Another marvelous thing happened: some of the employees would come by and visit. Some began to share their stories, and I was able to talk about the power of God. I thought one worker would have revival in the middle of the night!
Don’t miss the point of this short blog. My purpose is not to pat myself on the back. My purpose is to remind us, that God is with us in our pain. God will bring healing to our pain, and in most instances, it will be a journey, that seems slow and never-ending. (My days of immobility seem soooooo long.) But, God will bring healing to our pain.
Whether to scream at everyone, take it out on everyone, and be rude to others is a choice.
As you read this, I am in no way minimizing pain, any kind of pain: physical, betrayal, emotional, grief, marginalization. Pain is real, very real. And sometimes we do cry out because of our pain, and hopefully we have people with whom we can share our pain. So this is not a guilt trip blog.
My goal, as a child of God, is to let God do my talking, not my pain. I trust God with the pain. He sees. He cares. He wipes tears. He heals.
In the mean time, try a little kindness.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”- Colossians 3:12