Friday, October 18, 2013

What a Pain!

Psalm 34:19-20   Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. 

Last Saturday I slammed my little toe into the corner of my big, bulky dresser. 
Big and bulky now describes the top half of my foot.  

Don't think you can tell much from the picture
but the little toe is purple
and across the top, swollen 
I donned tennis shoes to walk Disneyland the next day. Very sore, my pace slowed down.  My friend mustered up amazing patience as we navigated the park. 

I don't know if I broke it or not. After googling "broken toe," there wasn't much advice I didn't already consider; buddy tape, elevate, ice.  

Six days later, it is still swollen, very sore and annoying. 

Things could be worse. 

While walking to my first period class on Thursday, a student sat on the sidewalk between the grass and the lunch area, his friend standing above him, both with puzzled looks on their faces. As I approached them, the boy on the ground called out to me. 

"Can you help me?"

Sensing something anyway, my steps already turned in that direction.   He was sitting, well, sort of, with his legs under him and one leg looked somewhat misplaced...crooked. 

"I fell, he said. We were throwing the tennis ball and I slipped on the grass and now my leg won't work."

He did not seem panicked, in any excrutiating pain, maybe a tad embarrased or concerned.  

Telling his friend to stay with him, most students were now in their classrooms, the tardy bell announcing the begining of classes for the day. I left and walked up to the Administration building, getting the V. P's secretary to get help for this young man. She quickly called campus security. 

Walking back to encourage the young student that help was on the way, I stayed until others began assisting him. Soon, a fire truck and paramedic pulled up in front of the school and the injured kid left in an ambulance for the nearest hospital. ( A REAL injury, I surmised). 

Later I would find out that he had snapped his femur completely through and cracked another bone!

I couldn't believe it; so calm and the nondescript!  Not one kid walking around him noticed, or stopped, only his one friend who he sported with.  

While sitting on the couch tonight, feeling my toe and its surrounding buddies throbbing and distracting me, I thought of the boy and his smashed up leg. Me? Whining, limping, complaining all week about my dumb little toe while many live daily in constant chronic pain. 

Perspective. I need a good dose of this medicine. 

Sometimes, the quiet ones, the ones everyone walks around, the ones who slip easily and stay down are the ones we need to pay attention to, have more compassion for.  I see it everyday in the kids I work with. Some sort of pain, whether obvious or not, exists in all of us.  Pain that is unplanned, unintentional, life changing, sobering, throbbing... Pain demands attention. 

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”  C.S. Lewis 

I know throbbing pain and it's not my toe.  God binded my wounds, tenderly cared for me and paid literally, divine attention to both my loud complaints and my quiet, personal aches. His perscription for me provided a promise to deliver me, send his Comforter and give me strong legs to stand on. In that, I am called to see other's pain, empathize and encourage.  

Maybe someday, an app, touched on one of our devices will instantly "self-x-ray" our boo-boos and "Suri" in her electronic voice will suggest our ailment and our remedy. I know that my God already does that. With a call in to Him in prayer, He sees my pain, my injury, and writes out the perscription of love. In my time and in His time, healing begins. 

Heavenly Father, Why do I sometimes run into things and hurt myself? Oh, yeah, I am human. Why do I worry and complain when things become a bother, annoy, make things difficult. Really? That human thing again?  Please help me Lord to have better perspective. I need Your perspective to see the obstacles in front of me and the hearts of others. When someone calls for help, allow me to be sensitive and wise. You are the Great Physician. Thank you Lord for your Healing Hands on my heart throbs and my toe throbs. Amen. 


  1. Awesome post, Coleene. Your prayers are mine, also.

  2. I find it amazing how many times I come across students at school who are hurt emotionally or physically and no one else notices but me - and now I see you go through the same thing, Coleene. I love how God uses us in our public schools. Sure wish we worked together. That would be pretty awesome. <3

  3. The insight in this post makes such sense. We are all hurting and can choose to help one another or ignore the other person's plight. Love the prayer at the end and reading this right now.