Today at lunch Luke was telling me about how his finger hurt, for the 37th time this morning. He has a small scrape that wasn't bleeding so didn't warrant a band aid and to these guys the band aid is what makes it feel all better! (What do we do without the band aid?? It must still hurt!)
Now, my responses to hurts-that-are-fine can range anywhere from, "Do you need a hug?" to "You're gonna have to suck it up."(said with love) but today I was sitting next to him at the table and undistracted (but for the food and the chewing) and it occurred to me that I was in a "lesson moment", if I would choose to take it. And I did. I'll share some of what we talked about and my thoughts with YOU, lucky you.
I was telling Luke how God has designed our bodies to feel pain, that sometimes that pain protects us. We used the woodstove as an illustration: if I touch it real real quick I can get away without being hurt or burned, but leave that hand there and I'll get burned and it will hurt! How do I know when to lift my hand off the hot stove? Because I can feel the heat too much and I take my hand away before it hurts, if I can't feel the hurt, then I would leave my hand there and unknowingly damage myself.
Okay, understanding but not in a personal way so next illustration: his friend broke his arm last year, and even though they went to the doctor and he wore a cast, he had to heal. I explained that if Charlie had tried to wrestle, even with his cast on, it would have hurt-his body would have let him know to be careful with the arm, because it needs to heal.
Luke asks some questions, which was great and then I realized another example. Myself. The pain I felt as a person with undiagnosed Celiac Disease was immense at times. That pain sent me to the doctor even though my last doctor could not answer the questions, that pain saved me. Some people who have Celiac Disease don't feel pain, their body may be feeling the effects of the disease but they can't see the symptoms or feel the pain, but I did, and I can truly say that I am thankful for the pain. It helped me to my diagnosis, it's reminder is what takes away ANY desire I have to eat food with gluten in it. This amazes me.
We even wondered together if Adam and Eve could feel pain, surely if Adam stubbed his toe on a tree root he felt it! This would mean that pain was created! Part of God's plan, corrupted by sin.
At this moment I think of the people in my life, and especially the men who have come through F.O.A. over the many years, and so very many of them are caught in a lifestyle that originated in attempts to ease, run away from, or avoid PAIN in their life, whether physical or emotional.
I realized how very dangerous this could be, the mentality to avoid pain at costs. I want my children, my sons to know what pain is, and where it belongs. Sometimes the headache is to show you that you are dehydrated, don't take a Tylenol with a coke. Sometimes that back pain isn't from wrenching your back raking leaves months ago, sometimes it's cancer. You don't have to just get used to a life of pain, maybe you just need to find the doctor who has the answers.
Pain can show you when you are pushing too far, or when you need to use caution because you are healing yet. Maybe the pain is just yet another reminder that that piece of furniture is occupying that part of the floor. Or that pain can reveal a need you have for a Savior, or show you where you've tried to do it your own way much too long. Sometimes our pain isn't for ourselves, but so that we can recognize it in others, having known it so well ourselves.
After remembering God who became Man for me this past Christmas, I am thankful for today when I am to remember a Savior who CHOOSE pain for us.