Pain, the fabric softener of life


“Lord, help us to accept the pains and conflicts that come to us each day as opportunities to grow as people and become more like you.” Mother Teresa, A Gift for God (Artwork by Kelly Rae Roberts)

In her caretaking role over the past few years, a friend visibly softened while dealing with her mom’s demands during declining health.

I hated what I witnessed both women going through. Yet, I treasured how acceptance and allowing others closer became a part of my friend’s life. Too exhausted to judge, she set that aside, which made our time together more gentle.

Unfortunately, after her mom died, my friend reverted back and seemed harsher than before.

Pain’s like that. It has a way with us.

It shows no favoritism and leaves no choice but to change. We all feel it and we all choose our responses. We either become bitter or we soften in its aftershock.

I suspect that is one of pain’s purposes, to give us a chance to get better.

Author Hannah Hurnard in her book, Hinds’ Feet on High Places, illustrates poignantly how sorrow and suffering are analogous to joy and peace. Hurnard’s character Much-Afraid learns from her woes and takes an upward journey to high places – the same journey of our lives, when we’re willing.

How do you react to pain?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – Since pain is a part of life, let’s make the best of it and let it make us the best we can be.

On the side: Post by artist Kelly Rae Roberts about kindness and softening.



7 responses »

  1. Love your metaphor of pain as fabric softener. Hind’s Feet–a wonderful book. How much I identify with Miss Much Afraid. Nice post, Kim.

  2. Such a good article, Kim. I thought about “no pain, no gain.” It is through the experiences of pain that I have come to know God better. and to understand the pain of others.

    • Same here, Mary Sue. Pain has taught me compassion and to let go of judgement. I may not know what others are going through, but I’m sure of one thing, they’ve experienced some kind of pain. We all have. As always, I appreciate your support and comments around here.

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