Monday, January 26, 2009

Pain. Deep, searing, slashing pain. Not for me, but for someone else. For the girl who was now without a brother, for the man who was deceived out of a son, for the little boy who didn't understand, for the woman who didn't know what the sickness was. It was tears and stomach-aches. It was abuse and heartache and confusion and fear, and it hurt. Like I never wanted to feel again. Like only a fragment of the real pain those individuals were feeling.

I didn't understand - I didn't know the girl well. The man was through his trial. The little boy was in God's hands. The woman was on the verge of a diagnosis. My pain seems to trivialize theirs. Who was I to hurt for these people? 

The psalmist says, "Blessed is he who has regard for the weak." Who would I be if I didn't hurt along with the broken, and grieve with those who grieve? No. May I never be so hard-hearted. Why should I sleep soundly at night when there's fighting in the Middle East? Why should I eat ice cream when there are people who haven't eaten in days? Why should I be alive when babies die every day? Dear Lord, do not let me forget. Please, stamp it on my heart, ingrain it in my brain. But not forget, never forget.

The television showed pictures of refugees, burned with acid and covered in scars, on the day Hussein's statue fell. "Mom, I'm going to be sick." But I needed to see it. The signs said "massage parlor" in English and oriental characters, but my eyes burned knowing the signs meant "brothel." But I needed to see it. The van drove by dilapidated houses inhabited by tired and beaten-down people, and I wanted so badly to go home. But I needed to see it. So I would remember. 

So I suffer with the suffering, like my Jesus cried for Lazarus. 

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