Hope you’re having the most awesome Friday ever! Hope it’s filled with praise and laughter all day! Y’know, the other day I was going to…
(Wait a sec. I didn’t really mean to say some of that stuff. I need to start over…)
Hope you’re having the most awesome day ever! Filled with praise and thankfulness and joy! But if you have a heart that needs to break, or a tear you need to shed, or someone’s hurt you need to share, that’s OK, too! A day with pain in it…sometimes feeling yours and sometimes sharing someone else’s…doesn’t make your day a bad one.
I was reading this article the other day about the history of anesthesia. This young British doctor, Humphrey Davy (that sounds like a name out of Gilbert and Sullivan!) was trying to find a cure for tuberculosis. He fixed up a makeshift gas chamber and was inhaling different gases in there (risky!!) to see if they helped him breath better. He tried a cloudful of nitrous oxide and found that he didn’t breath better but he did see better. In fact, he saw things that didn’t exist!
"…Trains of vivid visible images rapidly passed through my mind…I was now almost completely intoxicated. The sensations were superior to any I ever experienced. Inconceivably pleasurable. I seemed to be a sublime being, newly created and superior to other mortals."
He thought about this goofy feeling the next time he had a throbbing toothache. “Maybe if I breathe some of that nitrous stuff, it’ll calm this pain…”
He tried it. And it did! They changed the name of nitrous oxide to “laughing gas” and dentists started using it for screaming patients around the world ever after.
But not until decades after!
It had never occurred to doctors or dentists to use anything to take pain away from anyone! Extractions and all kinds of surgeries were done with no anesthesia! English didn’t even have the word “anesthesia” until 1846! The only word they had for pain relief up ‘til then was, “YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!”
The reason was that doctors thought pain was good. All the screaming encouraged them to work faster (seriously!) and they thought it was a sign the body was fighting back and healing!
Pain is really a gift from God. Pain in your mouth tells you something about your tooth. Pain in your heart tells you something about yourself. Pain in your friend’s heart because you are going through a hard time tells you something about love.
Heaven will be the place where there will be no more tears or pain. But somehow, Heaven isn’t that way yet. Jesus is there and He feels and shares all your tears, hurts and pain.
It would mean the world to someone to know that you hurt when they hurt. Two girls, Yaguine Koita, age fourteen and Fode Tounkara, age fifteen, were found frozen to death in the landing gear bay of a Belgian airliner, where they, so desperate for a better life, had tried to hide and escape Guinea, their country. They wrote this note in case they didn’t survive…
“We suffer enormously in Africa.
We have problems in Africa. We lack rights as children. We have war and sickness. We lack food…
We want to study, and we ask you to help us
so we can be like you,
What it would’ve meant to know that someone somewhere knew…and cared…and shed a tear. Or many…for them.
…Or for the hundreds of thousand who stand waist deep in misery, over their heads in grief and hopelessness in the Philippines today.
…Or for the broken hearted who head into their first Christmas season alone.
…Or for the army kids I've heard about all week at the Young Life Military conference here in Denver who literally shake while seated at their elementary school desk whenever they see soldiers walk into school dressed in fatigues because they're convinced that someone is coming to tell them their dad isn't coming home.
…Or for those we know and love who are having the hardest time they've ever had, because they're trying to show the love of Jesus to those who would have never known it without them.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12.15)
Or as the Message puts it, “Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down.”
Hope you have a joy-filled day! But if someone you know needs a hug from you, give it! If someone needs a “listen” from you, do it. If someone needs a tear from you, shed it!
That WILL make it an awesome day! For them!
And for you!