We had walked together for what seemed like so short a time, and now he was dying. Cancer had come back with a vengence and he was hurting so bad.
I had an accident the day before and my hand was broken. I was in pain myself but nothing compared to what he was going through.
So, as he was dying, he asked to take my hand, to hold on to his friend for a little while and ease the pain a bit. With each wave of agony he faced, he would squeeze so hard. Then he would release as the fury of that silent monster would abate.
And I took the pain. Not because I’m a hero, not brave, not strong. I took it because he was my friend.
I look at my hand from time to time, seeing the flaws in the healing, knowing my hand was never the same again. And I realize that’s why God put us together, all of us. When we hurt, we often cause pain to others, we create deformities, broken places. But it is our honor, our priviledge to share in these sufferings. It is not the time to isolate, to reject, to protect yourself – barring the abusive relationship to be sure. As we are hurting, we share in the pain, allowing ourselves to be hurt. Yes, laying down our lives.
It is how we see Jesus.