Normally, if I’m writing this from bed, it means I’m working late. Today, however, it’s still afternoon. The kids have just gotten up from their afternoon rest time (we used to call it “nap time,” but somewhere along the line, they decided they didn’t like naps), and my wife is sleeping next to me (she has no problem with the word “nap”!). She just had a couple of wisdom teeth pulled, and she’s on some sort of fancy pain medication, so I’m letting her sleep as much as possible. I’ve also got the kids in the absolute other end of the house. I wasn’t born yesterday!
Pain is a funny thing. Physical pain we can rarely mask, and we often don’t even try to mask it. We spend a great deal of money treating it, too, with fairly decent results. Emotional, spiritual pain, however is a completely different thing. We rarely let on to others that it is present. We work hard to mask it. Our treatments for it, though also costly, are rarely effective. It is a blight that drags us–and those around us–down.
This morning I had the opportunity to witness something amazing–something that refreshes my faith in humanity. I saw a woman who had finally succumbed to the power of her emotional pain; her facade gone, she collapsed in tears. Then, from across the room, another woman who was not much more than an acquaintance, came to her side. Wrapping her arms around her, she held her and comforted her through her tears, crying along with her and whispering prayers and encouraging words. When all was said and done, both women rose from that spot with refreshed, though tear-streaked faces. With the masks gone, they were able to freely share in the other’s suffering and, together, find healing.
Regardless of the scope of the challenge we face, open, honest communication can go a long way in helping us resolve our issues. This week in The Father Life, Mike Biskup helps us learn how to use open, honest introspection to reduce stress in our lives. Don’t worry; it’s not as scary as it sounds! Also, Dan Mason takes a refreshingly honest look at the challenge of rooting for your favorite baseball players in light of the steroids scandal. Finally, Joseph Hollins brings us a review of Gnarls Barkley’s latest offering, The Odd Couple. No, there are no issues to resolve with Gnarls Barkley, but I do believe they are quite frank in sharing their views!
Until next week,
Ben Martin is the CEO of THE FATHER LIFE. He lives with his wife and five children in the Rochester, NY, area.