spring.

Spring in the Northeast unfolds slowly. There’s always a teaser a few days in late February with temperatures reaching into the 40’s. But just as you get your hopes up, the frigid cold returns.

Pain is like that. Whether you’re grieving the loss of someone you love, or your marriage ended in divorce, or struggling with painful memories … there is an ebb and flow that may occur for the rest of your life. It lessens, as it should. But it can always be there.

Learning to live with pain isn’t a wrong way to think. There’s lots of chronic conditions we live with. We don’t embrace pain to the point of some kind of self-mutilation. It is practically facing the truth: it is what it is. That is not a hopeless statement. It is facing the facts with courage and learning to live with the pain, but not allowing it to rule you.

I’ve got a scar above my eye from a see-saw accident over 45 years ago. Every once and awhile I notice the scar and remember the pain. Accidents happen all the time and this was a minor one, yet, the memory of it is still there.

But I also carry scars in my heart. Two are still tender. The wounds were so deep that I am certain that even though the pain has lessened, it will be a scar that will always hurt when touched. That doesn’t mean I don’t have faith. It means I have faith to live with it.

Pain makes us human. It makes us reach out to others in pain and remember to love our neighbor.

Ultimately, spring will come. Isn’t that wonderful?  The gray clouds must give way to the warmth of a new season that promises cheery colors, sweet fragrances, and lush meadows. Spring expresses the promise of new life for nature, but how much more for you whom God says He loves?

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