Questions (Pain pt. 2)

As I open this topic of pain, a few questions always come to my mind:  

Why are people in pain considered weak or emotionally unstable? Or, in Christian circles, when the subject of pain and sickness are brought up, why does it immediately become a “spiritual” subject?  Why do so many who live in daily pain hide it to appear strong?  Yesterday I explained some of my own reasons about why I really don’t talk about pain much.

Last summer when we were making plans to go to India, Rob asked Rajendran if it was possible for me to have a bed to sleep in each night because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis.  He said to Raj, “You won’t hear her complain, she’s a trooper, but she hurts a lot and a bed would be a necessity.”  Raj kindly wrote back something like this (I lost the original email)

In India, sickness and weakness are not considered a thing to be ashamed of.  If one is vomiting and there is no where to vomit, one would kindly open her sari or cloth to catch the vomit to help the person.  I do not understand why you Americans are ashamed of pain as weakness.  We use weakness to show our love and care for one another.  Tell her we will all be here to help her.

And they did.  It was never spoken of, but they cared for me and our family so much, that they really became part of our family.  We miss them and can’t wait to see them again this summer.

India-Rob 118

What if one of the reasons God allows pain is to teach us to care for one another, and bear one another’s burdens, like our friends in India do with such grace? What if he allows pain to teach us to give and receive all at once? 

Many people think pain is weakness and to be avoided at all costs.  I am plunging headlong into pain and learning all I can along the way while trying to feel better every day.

More to come…

2 thoughts on “Questions (Pain pt. 2)

  • February 26, 2010 at 9:41 am
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    I am not proud to say that I have a very hard time showing my weaknesses and I will tell you that this is one of the tallest walls around my heart. It does create boundaries and separations. I know in my head that love is very involved in the pain and messiness and letting others in so they can love you. And now I’ve been deconstructed a bit this morning……thanks.

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  • February 26, 2010 at 2:35 pm
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    A lady I went to high school with posted a link to your article on her facebook. After reading both of your posts on pain. I so agree with what you wrote about the reasons we hide pain with one addition from my own experiences.
    I have had daily pain for many years and the reason I hide my pain especially from my christian friends is because their 2 constant responses are “your faith has to be strong for your pain to be gone” and “have you prayed for the pain to go away?”. My non-christian friends and co-workers are much more sympathetic and helpful whenever I am in my pain.
    Over the years I have grown so very tired of christians thinking if you have faith you will have no pain in your life. I think it is very sad that I feel I must hide my pain from my christian friends because to them it is not only a sign of weakness but it is also a sign of a lack of faith in God.

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