Have you ever had a night when you were so tired, you couldn’t sleep? I have them just about every night. Lying there just doesn’t get the job done.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am in pain most all the time, but I still try to do whatever is needed to do. Lying there, not getting the needed sleep, is a useless waste of time. You can get up, go read a book, maybe watch a little television, or do what I do: Get a hot cup of coffee and go surf the Web.
You would be surprised at all the sites on the Web that have inspiring stories about people who feel worse than I do. They don’t let the pain take them down. They use their pain to help others who need that inspiration to keep going.
I go to a lot of sites about people who have had heart problems, and many others who are fighting their battle with cancer. Just about on all of those sites there is a message of hope and faith that keeps me going. It sort of sticks to you as a reader, letting you know that out there someone cares enough to tell their story about their battle with pain. It helps them to be able to know that they are being heard. They know that they are not alone at any time with their suffering, because they know that someone out there has asked God to help them.
In my lifetime, I have seen men and women with no legs or arms. They may have been born that way or they might have lost them because of illness or accident. They still get around, and they ask for no pity because they know that life goes on.
I had a friend who lost his ear to cancer and, for a while, he stayed in and didn’t want to be around others. He feared people would notice. He told me that losing the ear really bothered him.
I told him that I saw him as my friend and I didn’t even notice the missing ear. He said that he felt different without the ear. I told him he was the same friend that I had before the loss. A smile came to his face and from then on until his death, we talked and laughed many times.
Another good friend by the name of Harold came in one day and showed me that he had lost three fingers on his right hand in a table saw accident. He said it looked bad not having them, but he still had two and he would just have to get by with them.
Another friend, who has since gone Home, came in one day to buy a table saw. He was blind, so I asked him who he was buying it for. He said it was for him. Just because he was blind, he said, it didn’t mean he couldn’t own something that he could loan out to a friend. At least he could dream that he could operate that piece of equipment.
So life, as it is, goes on without stopping for someone to get off. You don’t give up on life just because of the situations that come about. You hold your head high, you pull that shirt collar up around your neck and you tell God to bring it on because you can take it. You know that he is there for you, and you know that one day he will call you Home.
But until that day, you take life as it is given to you. You put the pain on the far side, and use yourself as one of his servants trying to ease the pain of someone else.
As we walk our path of life, we are witness to many detours designed to sway us to another path that only promises us an easy way of living, but without the chance of reaching the Promised Land.
• Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.