You know what hurts? Stubbing your toe hurts. Like really bad. My 4 year old fell down yesterday and scratched up her knee. Her eyes swelled with tears that refused to drop. Her pain was real, it wasn’t less than someone else’s pain. It was hers, and it was very much real. She slowly walked toward me and reached up. We both knew what she wanted: to be held.
What is probably going to happen at some point if not already: the enemy is going to use pain against you however he can. The ultimate trick is to make you think you are the only one suffering. That your pain is somehow isolating you from everyone else. Then the mind games come to play, they whisper things like, “You’re pathetic. So-and-so is dealing with cancer/death-of-a-child/fill-in-the-blank and YOU can’t even handle this tiny little thing?”
In a world that currently tries to separate us and isolate us and categorize us, I know this one thing: everybody gets hurt. And I might be mistaken, but lately it seems like the majority of people are walking through something painful… right now.
One of the most beautiful opportunities come with pain and hurt. Pain gives us the opportunity to connect with each other in a way different than any other. While the enemy tells us to hide, turn away, and isolate, Jesus calls us to community. Like a 4 year old with a scraped knee looking for a hug and a princess bandaid, we have the opportunity to reach the depths of each others stories.
It’s been on my heart as I drive around town, or see my neighbors heading inside. I wonder about their stories. I wonder what they are going through. I wonder if they are feeling isolated or connected. My hope is to really hear my friends stories, to share my pain with them, and hug them in theirs.
If you’re in the thick of it right now, know that YOU are a target. The enemy is trying to isolate you. Don’t let him win. Your pain matters, it is real, and you have a beauty that is only human that allows you to go connect with others. And when you’re down on your knees, eyes swelling with tears, reach up. Jesus knows what you are looking for: to be held.