I have been dealing with pain a lot in 2018. Some is physical, some emotional, but it is pain and it is real. And yet, I’m not in physical pain any more than the average man in his fifties. When those around me, especially my family, hurt, I do as well.
I have had many issues with organized religion over the years. So do I consider myself religious? Depends on the definition. The term I use these days is Spiritual. I do believe in God.
I am praying this prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Please take the burdens off my son, my daughter and my wife and place them upon me.
You have made me strong enough to shoulder their pain.
And every time I pray it, I don’t feel like I get an answer.
Others tell me that no answer is often an answer if you take the time to consider the situation.
How did I come to be strong? I have walked on hot coals thru the fires of my life. I emerged battered and bruised, yet the scars thicken and toughen my resolve for next time.
So if God denies my loved ones that pain and suffering that leads to extraordinary growth, will He, and I by default, be failing them?
In terms of physical pain, we treat it and we force ourselves thru it until we hopefully get some relief and start to feel better again.
How do we do this for emotional pain? How do we treat it? How do we help others push thru it?
These are questions we all will ask; fathers, mothers, uncles, grandfathers, aunts, etc.,. We all want to help those under our charge.
We listen. We encourage. We pray. We counsel. We distract. We get involved.
These are not issues that will go away if you sweep them under the rug. There is a terrible increase in suicides in the last decade. By being involved, we help minimize that horrible outcome.
Two pieces of advice are the opening words of two very different books:
“This too shall pass.”
As Fathers, we lead. We stay involved, day to day, hour to hour. We throw ropes, we pull them up and out of their holes. It’s what we all will do if/when that day comes.