I'm praying for you and I say my heart aches because I know your pain, but do I?
I read about it and I see it, but you feel it, and it's not the same thing, and the part of me that aches is also relieved because I can grieve shortly and then live again because it's not happening to me.
And we silently convince ourselves that God will save us from horrific happenings.
As we listen to the broken, and nod with compassion and sadness, with lips curled under as if to say, I know how you feel. But can I?
Because my idea of a hard day is tired, it's frustration and biting words, it's blurred equations and misunderstandings.
Because who wakes up thinking that today could be the hardest of all days?
I'll go ahead and be honest – I don't actually know how you feel.
I've never had my child taken out of arms reach, not able to comfort as she cries, from the deep sobs, and I can't reach her through the glass walls that separate us.
And I break like I didn't know I could break as the doctor says each breath could be the last.
I don't know what that sort of weak feels like.
Or the woman, whose son was found lifeless, with no salve to ease the unimaginable. A pat on the shoulder, some hugs, and someone says, “I'm sorry.”
Romans 12:15 says to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to weep with those who weep.
And joy is contagiously easy to share. But this makes me think of Jesus, and the mother of a grown man, the man who knew His path and was prepared for it, but I bet she wasn't.
How can anyone be truly ready to say goodbye?
Because no one really knows how to say it, when it means something.
And she watched her son, the innocent accused, as they struck and mocked him, and she couldn't stop them. So she buried head in hands and wept.
I think the other mothers held children closer that day. I bet they loved a little more than the day before. I'm certain I would have.
And the mother of Moses, as ears heard the death decree, I think she felt weak. As she placed him in a basket and set him in hiding. I think her world stood still right then. I bet she prayed like she'd never prayed before.
I'm sure I would have.
Don't get me wrong – I know what pain feels like. It has wrapped cold, calloused hands around my spirit before and tried to crush, and take, and I think it was laughing at me.
I also know what Christ feels like, as He takes the hellish grip of pain and replaces with comfort.
He's the reason I breathe and the only reason I want to.
I may not understand your trials, I may not be able to precisely grasp what you are feeling, but I can assure you that the outcome is the same.
The crimson stripes that Jesus bore, the nails he wore in hands and feet, the crown of thorns. All of it, for all of this.
Because even if I can't wrap my mind around your pain, He can. He already has.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Romans 12:15