I was sitting in a waiting room for a post physical therapy follow up. A gentleman sitting across from me was leaning forward, his right hand cupped carefully around his left hand which was wrapped in a small white towel. He was obviously in pain. Adjusting his position, shaking his knee, at times he was huffing and puffing, closing his eyes or looking in the air. My heart was melting for this man in his present misery. The pain in my neck, and my night time headaches seemed insignificant next to his urgency.
I wondered what happened to him. No one else seemed to notice. We all live very different lives. Have different jobs, interests, and experiences. But one thing was the same today. Our pain. His hurt became my hurt. Sitting there feeling his pain, I remembered the day my left hand was broken, I realized how a one inch surgical cut above my broken ring finger bone made my entire body ache, for weeks.
I wondered if the man knew Jesus. If he went to church or had some people who could help him feel better. I wondered if he knew the answer like I knew it? That Jesus came to heal all of our diseases, to wipe our tears, and take our pain away with the power of what he did on the cross that day. After all, God sent his son to the earth, the ultimate sales guy, to spread the word about his life changing power!
The thought rose up in my spirit, as if Jesus stepped into our row of chairs, sat down beside me and cleared the air: “He is the type of person I laid hands on, when I walked the earth. The type that I would walk up to on a crowded street, when no one else noticed. I would share my love with him.” My heart visualized the scene, like one straight out of Hollywood. Jesus, walking up to this man, the man in pain that no one noticed.
As most waiting room scenes go, eyes are glued to People magazine, or CNBC on the TV. I put People aside and caught eyes with him, smiled, and said simply, “What happened to you?” He told me the story of starting out to work early and how a truck tailgate accidently crushed his pinky finger. And now he is in waiting in this room, in pain, and has been for an hour and a half.
I stood up and walked over to him, to get a better look, and told him I understood his pain, and I shared my story too. I went up to the desk to be Mrs. Advocate and take up his cause with the nurse. He and I talked for a few more minutes, and noticed how our conversation has made his whole body language change, he is not huffing and puffing or wincing. Maybe somehow I had helped him forget about the pain, or the long wait. I said a brief prayer for him and told him about Jesus. He thanked me and said he he goes to church and knows the Lord.
Social, Racial, Historical, Financial, Spiritual…there is a lot of difference, and distance in the world we live in. But we have to break through the ocean of difference, and speak to that pain. We have to cross the street and break the distance. We have to place the ususal People magazine aside. Because Jesus came to heal all of our pain. Not only did he cross the distance of heaven and earth to come to us, he walked down a road, and up a hill. He gave it all for the ones in pain, the ones who are broken, the ones who are waiting and hurting.
Maybe my small conversation that day did not produce a Top News at 5 type of miracle report, “Man miraculously healed in waiting room in Downtown Montgomery.” ~ No. But what did happen was for a small moment during his day, his pain was lifted, his hope was stirred, his spirits just might have been lifted in that one moment. And that one moment matters.
My worship today:
Cry of the Broken