The other day I awoke from a dream, this is what I remember:  I was in a hospital, in a patient’s room standing beside her bed and I looked down and she was bleeding.  Blood was gushing out of her chest, just gushing like in wickedly horrible dreams or movies.  I went to the door and turned down the hall to get a doctor.  Just as I turned, I saw a doctor coming my way, she just happened to be coming down the hall at the same time I came around the corner.  She was in a wheelchair just scooting along slowly by shuffling her feet.  I thought that was kinda weird.  But the next scene came quickly, and I was at the patient’s bedside putting pressure on the wound, stopping the blood from gushing and I was quietly murmuring to the patient to help keep her calm.  From the other side of the bed the doctor asked me, “Why do you it?”  I looked at her inquisitively.  She was standing opposite from where I was, and I looked her in the eye not really knowing what she meant. So, I asked her “what do you mean?” and she replied, “Why do enter into others’ pain?”   I looked at her for a brief moment and answered, “because I know something about it, and it’s not fun to do it alone.  I don’t want people to do it alone.”

Grace. That’s grace.  God came to us to experience our pain, to walk our journey with us because God knows it isn’t cool to do it alone.  It really is no fun to go through trauma, heartache, sadness, grief, fear, or pain alone, and there’s pain all over the place.  In many ways, we are all specialists in some kind of pain that is produced by life on this side of heaven, we’ve all had experiences in it and with it. So, just as God gracefully stays present with our pain, God gifts us with the ability to enter into other people’s pains with and alongside them as well. 

Entering into another’s pain is part of the circle of grace that we’re all a part of.  Our presence and God’s presence together with others, can heal wounds, lessen anxiety, stabilize breathing, lead to creative solutions, and guide us through this life if we but take the time to listen and become aware.  And there’s so many different ways that we can be present with others, so many different ways that we can be present in someone else’s pain: sit beside them and just hold their hand, listen – don’t talk – just listen, send a card, text or call a friend or someone you know is lonely, pray for someone – make a list and pray for lots of folks, start a Grace Group at your church, your workplace, your running group or school, engage the person sitting alone in the restaurant…Just let others know you care; there is such deep grace in that.

Like Pastor Peter Bowmer said in this month’s Grace Conversation, (View video) Grace is like an undeniable presence that is really hard to explain, but the presence knows exactly what we need at that very moment.  

And just think, if we take the time to care about another person, we get to be the answer to their prayer in their moment of need, we get to be the answer in the presence of grace. How cool is that??

Grace…May you find it, see it, and feel it between the lines of life and live this day and EVERY day in the company of Grace…