Everyone is different, but all feel pain

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 25, 2012

Although she doesn’t speak (and God help us all when she does) my granddaughter Adeline is quite verbal. She coos in response to our questions and sings songs we’ve yet to interpret. She laughs, she cries, and sometimes she combines the two. Adeline tries, really tries, to keep laughing, but hunger, weariness or pain takes over, and she ends the “conversation” by crying. And whoever has the privilege of holding her at the time of her meltdown, hugs and comforts this little life who has already secured a big place in our hearts.

It’s easy to console Addi right now but not quite so simple when I reach out to others in need. Thankfully, I’ve had incredible friends in my life whose examples have left life-changing impressions as they have walked alongside me. Tough times of grief, disappointment or discouragement have been eased by a call, casserole or companionship from a caring friend. I truly hope to be able to give a little of what I have received.

Charles Swindoll explains it so well, “We don’t look, act or dress alike. We have different tastes in food, books, cars and music. We work at different jobs… enjoy different hobbies… but one thing we have in common. We know what it means to hurt. Suffering is universal. Tears are the same for Jews, Muslims, Christians, white, black, brown, children, adults and the elderly. When life hurts and dreams fade we express our anguish in different ways, but each of us knows the

sting of pain, heartache, disease, disaster, trials and suffering. Suffering is the common thread in all our garments.

“When Peter wrote his first letter to fellow believers scattered throughout Asia, he focused on the thing that drew them all together – suffering. Yet Peter didn’t try to pump them up with positive thinking. Instead, he gently reached his hand to their chins and lifted their faces skyward so they could see beyond their circumstances to their celestial calling.”

Whether you choose to express encouragement through a letter, phone call or visit, pray for God to show you someone who might need to be reminded of His love. I believe that’s a request God promptly answers. My prayer is that I respond to Him as quickly as I do when Adeline cries.

And speaking of Lil Addi, right on cue, she began to cry. Time to hold a baby.

Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.