My pain does not nullify your pain.
Really, it doesn’t.
Someone was speaking to me today and mentioned joint pain and then added, “But I shouldn’t really be complaining of pain in one place when speaking to you.” At the time I didn’t have a proper answer but mulling it over, I wish I could go back and say this:
“My pain does not nullify your pain.
I’m hurting, you’re hurting, and neither of us is in the perfect body we’ll one day get.
Just because I’m in pain doesn’t mean you’re not. Just because my pain may be greater, doesn’t mean your pain isn’t worth talking of, sympathising about and praying over because hey, it’s still pain!
Your pain doesn’t hurt our Heavenly Father any less than mine – it still reminds Him that this world is fallen and not how He planned it. He didn’t want either of us to have to live in a bodies wracked by pain and, ultimately, death.
Please, just because I have a list of various pains that I can rattle off (so far, my elbows are the only joints that have refused to join in the pain fest – long may it last!), it doesn’t mean I don’t care about yours. It doesn’t mean I can’t wince in sympathy with you.
You can’t measure pain and you definitely can’t measure suffering so we’re not comparing. You hurt and I wish you didn’t. I hurt and I wish I didn’t.
So tell me of the lousy week you had, your exhaustion (trust me, I can really give you a sympathetic hug about that one!), the pain in your little finger (because I now know how much pain a little finger can give you), the fact you are fed up with a broken world and some days wish you were already walking on the golden streets of Heaven. Tell me of how you wish things were different, that there are times you wonder how much more you are going to be able to take without cracking.
Then let’s pray, let’s hug, let’s smile at each other, let’s remind each other we’re going to make it because He said we would, let’s hold each other as we cry our frustration. Let’s remind each other that we have an awesome God who is holding us together. Let’s stumble towards the finish line together and hold each other up when the painkillers aren’t strong enough and we wish we could start amputating painful limbs.”
That’s what I wish I had said.