The 3 mile run this morning was brutal. I’m preparing with a group of friends for a 13.1 marathon April 7th so we have a regimen that we are following that breaks up so many miles in the week with a long run on the weekend. A 3 mile run is our ‘short’ run but today it felt like running in quicksand!
I don’t know if it is me creeping up on 40 or if it is because I haven’t ‘caught up’ on sleep from the weekend but when I managed to get another 30 minutes of sleep in and a cup of Teavana Oolong tea I woke up and have been at the computer all day! It’s a miracle!
It could have been that I reached for the book ”The Inner Voice of Love” by Henri Nouwen during my quiet prayer time and flipped to the segment titled “Permit Your Pain to Become the Pain” in which I read:
“Every time you can shift your attention away from the external situation that caused your pain and focus on the pain of humanity in which you participate, your suffering becomes easier to bear. It becomes a ‘light burden’ and an ‘easy yoke’ (Matthew 11:30) Once you discover that you are called to live in solidarity with the hungry, the homeless, the prisoners, the refugees, the sick, and the dying, your very personal pain begins to be converted into the pain and you find new strength to live it. Herein lies the hope of all Christians.”
In dealing with what I’ve uncovered from my past that has bound me up emotionally these past few days the words above spoke directly to my spirit. It is a good thing that I have already overcome, worked on and forgiven so much in my past because it is now easier for me to accept a new truth that is just as traumatic and painful and not to focus on the ‘external situation and the cause’ but instead recognize how others like me have been affected by the same pain. Hence it’s not my pain but THE pain.
The BEAUTIFUL GIFT in uncovering this ‘new pain’ and processing through it is that it has caused me to reach out to my older sister which has opened a new door for us. Again, it’s not ‘my’ pain but ‘the’ pain…it’s common ground and for the first time in my life my sister has reached out to me as ‘protector’ and with love. Makes the new pain livable to have reached this moment of fusing the gap that has been decades in the making.
God showed up today by mending family ties and low and behold I received an unexpected SKYPE call from a cousin that I haven’t seen or spoken to in at least 7 years or more. He and I are three months a part and were very close in high school and college and then life happened. Today we spoke for almost two hours closing the gap sharing in our past ‘pains’ that we experienced together acknowledging now that it is indeed not ‘our’ pain but ‘the pain’ and we survived.
What a gift today has been. Twenty nine days into the year and He has shown up daily.