Pain, Planes and Prayers


This girl loves to travel. I adore the excitement and rush of the airport, the packing, the anticipation of going somewhere new and really just being on a plane. I get so excited that it exhausts me. But i still love it. Usually after a trip I need a whole day to recover from the excitement. I know, it’s a little ridiculous.
It always intrigues me when I am on a trip where exactly everyone is going. I like to imagine each persons life that I sit next to, and when I am lucky my imagination is relieved and I get to hear it straight from them. I have been enlightened on the diversity of peoples stations of life. Most people I run into are working and are off to a meeting. Sometimes they are going on vacation or visiting people they love. And other times they are going somewhere that brings them pain.
I am realizing that EVERYONE has some form of pain in there life. Everyone. There is no exception. No matter how well they go through the motions, cover it up, cope with it, refuse to deal with it or allow it to consume them it is there. It is inevitable.
I will never forget a trip I was on where I had the sudden urge to talk with this woman. A God prompting. A little whisper passed through my soul asking me to talk to her. So I sat down next to her a struck up a conversation. She was older and the beauty lines in her face revealed that she had moments of laughter but in this case she seemed sullen. As we talked she began to open her heart to me, something I did not expect.
This woman had lived her life as a caretaker for her sickly mother. Their bond was tight. I could tell that the fabric of their lives was woven together so intricately. Tears in her eyes welled as she shared that her mother was her best friend, and while at times she wished she had lived an independent life, she never regrets she chose what she did. Just months before this woman has passed away and the heartache left behind in her daughter was evident. There it was, pain. To add to this seed of pain I could see bursting forth before me her brother was dying. A person in her life she admitted had not had such a soft spot in her heart. While I will never know what was the cause of the pain, there it was again. She grieved in front of me the ways their relationship never was much. And now here he was in his final days.
I listened to her questions. Questions of forgiveness, moving on, letting go of past wounds and getting over bitterness. My heart moved. I saw the short time we have here and how frail each of our lives on earth are. And here was this sweet woman before me, held captive by the bitterness, pain and now regret. She looked at me with the pain radiating from her soul, “what if I don’t get there in time? What if we never make amends?”
I will admit, I have no idea what I said next but I do know my heart still hurts for her. I wonder if she made it in time. I’m curious if she had the opportunity to make peace with her brother. And even more I wonder if she was able to make peace with herself. I prayed for her before we parted ways, my brokenness met her brokenness and we came before the Lord to plead for time, healing, forgiveness and opportunity for peace. But I am not sure who that prayer was for-for her or for me.
It is hard to let go of pain. It is hard to be in the midst of it. Pain is a cruel thing that can wrap itself around us and feel like it never will leave. But I think the hardest part is feeling like you are alone. The feeling that no one understands. That yes people might have similar experiences, but no it isn’t like yours. They don’t really get it.
I cling to the reality that Christ gets it. He does, he really does. He felt it ALL when He died. And when he took on it all it includes the pain we each feel. No pain goes unnoticed. So those moment where I hardly can move because of my aching heart, or when a painful season comes again and disrupts my life, I pray I can cling to the truth that Christ truly bore it all. He gets me. He feels it too.


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