I have been ‘dancing’ a lot in the shower lately. No, not quite the Macarena or the Twist or whatever came to your mind, but an unintentional sort of dance. You know when you have some fresh wounds and you don’t quite want water to make contact with them? And at the very touch of water, you squirm away with a bit of a grimace? Yes, your nodding means you understand.
Anyway, thanks to five rather big wounds, I’ve been squirming a lot when I bathe, to the point I can’t help but burst out in laughter at how ridiculous I look each time. The five wounds are not stigmata, mind you, but boy do they hurt (they were picked up in a recent accident).
In fact they hurt so much I have brought my pain to God in prayer every day since. I’ve told him about the throbbing that comes with every pump of blood from the heart, I’ve told him about how tricky it is to find and stay in one position while sleeping. I’ve asked God to do His thing (maybe tell me to pick up my mat and walk or something), and put me out of my misery.
Turn to God in everything. Yes… even small things
And then a realisation came to me a few days ago. Perhaps I need this particular experience. To teach me that when I’m in pain, I can turn to God. And when I’m not in pain, I should thank God. I know it all sounds very catechism class. But on further reflection, I realised that a lot of the time, when I’m in pain – whether due to a hurt inflicted by someone or even by a mistake I’ve made – I don’t bring it to God. Instead I ignore it by numbing or occupying myself with other things. Or I brush it away by thinking I can handle it and “God doesn’t want to be bothered by these small things anyway”. Another realisation: when was the last time I actually thanked God for healing me? Gosh, am I like one of the 9 of the 10 who were healed of leprosy by Jesus but did not go back to thank him (Luke 17)?
I know all this sounds like rather harsh perspectives, but I know for myself it’s true. I also know though, that God doesn’t want me to keep on adding more pain, layering them up one by one as I grow older. Surely older doesn’t mean weightier?
My recent rumination on this matter has often brought me back to Jesus on the cross. He who willingly took on pain, for us. For you, and for me. He who knows pain all too well, and still wants to help us when we feel it too in these days. And the miracle of it all is that He wants to share in our pain, and by our turning our gaze to Him, He takes more of the weight on, and on. If that’s not true, authentic love, I’m not sure what is.
Be intentional in sharing our pains with Jesus
So my dear reader, I hope you will join me in being intentional today about sharing our pains with our Lord. We know that God is interested in all kinds of pain – physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, all of it. And yes, He’s interested in every degree of pain.
Perhaps before receiving Communion at Mass today we can truly consider what it is we need healing from, as we say those words: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. (ref. Matthew 8:8)”
And for the ways He has healed us lately, may we give thanks at Mass too, for it is truly right and just.
Meanwhile, as my healing process continues, it is nice to know that I do not dance alone.
Top photo: Hernán Piñera © Some rights reserved.
Keith is a fool, a fool for Christ. Presently called to explore different ways truths can be communicated creatively, he is constantly surprised by God and His creative power. Current interests include comedy and drama.