That Ache

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You know that really strong pain killer they give people after a major surgery?  I’ve never been given it myself, but I’ve talked to people who have.  They talk about how it’s not surprising that people get addicted to that stuff.  They talk about how good it makes you feel.  It makes you realize how much general pain you’ve always had because when you’re on it you don’t feel any of it.  What amazes me is the amount of pain we all have without even realizing it is there.  We don’t appreciate it until we are artificially numbed to it.

There is another way to become aware of the pain we have.  When it suddenly becomes more acute it can no longer escape our consciousness.  There are times when our pain flares up and we cannot ignore it anymore.  I am, of course, using our physical pain as a way of opening our eyes to the deeper pain that we have inside.  The acute pain serves an important function.  It clues us into something that we haven’t noticed for years.  It makes it impossible for us to ignore that ache that we have deep within us.

I think it’s God who makes our pain acute, through a sunset, a song, a memory, or the look in your child’s face.  Suddenly you become aware of an ache that you realize has been there for as long as you can remember.  That ache is really a deep longing for something you cannot name combined with disappointment over a long history of that something slipping through your fingers.  It hurts.  It’s scary.  Instead of going to your usual ways of numbing that pain, go meet your creator there.  He’s knocking.

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20