SHARING and CARING…it’s what LIFE is all about!

Pain and Its Rippling Effects

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in Blog, Food for Thought | 8 comments

Lately, my right knee has been giving me a lot of pain. Anti-inflammatory pills don’t seem to be helping, so I’m relying on pain killers until I see myHuring knee doctor next week.  I’m sure I’ll be told what I already know: I have arthritis! Over these past twenty plus years, I’ve lived by the slogan: “I have arthritis, but it doesn’t have me!” It would seem that this is no longer the case.

I talked to my husband the other day about the different kinds of pain, and we came up with two: physical and emotional, not that we are an authority on either. Knowing that each can be broken down into numerous categories, we recognized that physical pain often goes hand-in-hand with the aging process, a process that opens many doors we’d rather not have opened! I reluctantly agreed that our bodies have their limit with each flip of the calendar. No longer can we jog up a hill; no longer can we get through a night without tossing about like a ship on a rolling sea; no longer can we look in the mirror and see the thirty-something person looking back at us . And, for me, no longer can I get up from my computer without hearing my knee joints crack!

I’m not saying any of this to invite you to a pity party. When I measure my discomfort to those who are in a far more debilitating condition, I am humbled and even somewhat thankful.

sadkittyBut to go back to my conversation with Doug, we both concluded that physical pain is a big factor in being human: our bodies break down and we experience pain. But we couldn’t ignore the hurting experience one faces when dealing with emotional pain. We determined that when one is a victim of this type of pain, there is a rippling effect: wounds go deep, then they get hidden and ultimately buried, and it can take a long time before healing happens, and in some cases, healing never does happen. For example, if words are written, accusations made and judgement passed, a valued friendship can be lost, never to be returned to what it once was. Often the damage is irreversible.

I found a gem at a garage sale this summer, a book entitled Checklist for Life for Women, offering topics such as How to Trust God with the Unexpected and sixty-seven other topics to glean from. The topic I read recently was entitled Watch Your Mouth, a challenge on the use of our words. I was reminded of the following:
•    Be careful how you use your words. They have great power. They can make or break a relationship.
•    Wisdom balances honesty with kindness and sensitivity.
•    Words must be spoken in love without judging or condemning.
•    To nurture and develop relationships, keep criticism at a minimum and use encouraging and kind words.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1 (ESV)

Although we may not be able to change a situation we find ourselves in, we can still have control over how we respond. Retaliation never solves a problem or heals a relationship. Rather, it’s fuel heaped upon an already raging fire. Keep in mind that as much as it’s important to stand for what you believe in, it is as equally important to speak wisely, and when this is practised, kindness, love, and gentleness will rule the day.

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips [to keep me from speaking thoughtlessly].
Psalm 141:3 (AMP)


Join the conversation and post a comment.


    Pain is a topic I know well. I have suffered for many years. I pray for relief , but also for my daughter she has just been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis and has had a diagnosis of Rheumatoid arthritis for many years. I know her pain. She never complains but the diagnosis has stolen a lot from her. She is a gifted crafter who has lost a lot of her abilities to knit, Rug hook, paint and cross stitch. Our heavenly father has given her a chance to get some special projects finished. We are thankful for that chance since it means so much to her.

    • Ruth Waring

      Carolyn, I only know a little bit of your physical journey, but you are a wonderful example of being a survivor! No doubt, your daughter has inherited this strength from you. Blessings and prayers to you both!

  2. Patricia Anne Elford

    There is also the effect that pain can have on our interaction with others. It is more difficult to speak wisely, with kindness, love and gentleness when in pain. When there is a caregiver, both the person suffering and the caregiver have to be mindful of this. It is not an excuse, but it is a factor.

    • Ruth Waring

      Anne, I couldn’t agree with you more! I have found it difficult at times to guard my words when emotional pain is riding high or when lack of sleep from painfilled nights leaves me ‘short’! I suppose it’s a human reaction. Having been a caregiver for my mother years ago, I understand how important it is to be mindful of the slippery slope of frustration, when wisdom and gentleness are absent. But at the risk of sounding a bit self-righteous, God wants us to honour Him even when we find ourselves in the ‘wilderness’ of emotional or physical distress. Thankfully, our heavenly Father knows our hearts, even when our human counterparts misjudge our actions as we interact with each other. Again, as you have so plainly said, not an excuse, but a factor. Blessings! And thanks for your insightfulness.

  3. Susan Duke

    Well done my dear……it is always good to be reminded of this core behavior.

    Love to you and yours

  4. Heather.

    Pain has been on my mind lately 🙂 Physical and emotional pain sometimes have a connection. Emotions can cause physical pain, in turn, physical injury, chronic pain can bring emotional issues. Emotional pain often goes deeper and lasts longer. We tend to monitor our bodies and our physical health far more than emotional health.

    Thankful, He is in control.

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