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If I Could Take Away Your Pain, I Would

She sat across from me in uncomfortable silence.  Maybe it was my makeshift meal of leftovers from two nights ago, which resembled enchilada mush, that she was silently thinking of a way to refuse to digest without hurting my feelings.

I ask her if she is okay.

“Yes, I am just tired.” she says.

I can leave it at that, but, this is not the time.  So I ask her again.

As the first tear makes its way down her cheek, I know the truth.

If I could take away your pain, I would.  

I would shoulder it in my heart so you could be happy, free from this continual mental remorse.

Friends tell her to pray more.  She says she does.

I know she does.

Maybe another medication will help.

She wished she had an illness that was acceptable.

One that doesn’t dispense guilt for feeling bad.  One that says it is okay to curl up on the couch into a comatose ball until the pain subsides.

If I could take away your pain, I would.  

You do not need to feel ashamed.

She feels this way because she knows she has a good  great life.  “This is just a first-world problem.” she says.

If that were entirely true, why are the Bible’s pages trickled with sad encounters?

Thirty minutes later, her tears lead to a sigh.

“Can I hug you?”  I ask.

Her tired nod allows me approach her and enter a full embrace.  After an acceptable time of comfort, I pull away.

Oh, honey, If I could take away your pain, I would.  

God, you are the God of all comfort, and I know you weep when your children weep.   I ask that she feels the warmth of your embrace, holding her near, as she struggles through this pain, and smiles again. 

Until then…

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