Touch a hot stove and what happens? Pain. Hit your thumb with a hammer and what happens? Pain. Lose a loved one and what happens? Pain. Often, that pain is accompanied by tears. So, pain can’t possibly be a good thing…or can it?

Odd as it seems, I am thankful for the feeling of pain. Why? Because, in shocking fashion, pain forces me to pay attention NOW! It announces that something occurred that requires focus and perhaps change NOW. One second all was well and the next, our world has changed.

Whenever pain interrupts life, there is something to be learned. Don’t touch that burner again and you won’t get burned again. Be more careful when pounding nails and you won’t get that nasty blood blister ever again. Pain leads to reflection and change…if we pay attention to it.

Those two are easy, but there is another kind of pain that blasts our hearts in ways that are difficult to describe, unless you felt it yourself. That is, when someone close to us dies. In those instances, there is no immediate lesson we can learn to avoid the pain. We can’t be more careful around stoves or tools or crossing the street. It happened and there is nothing we can do about it. Pain is here now. A life ended leaving us with a hole in our hearts the size of Montana. So, what’s the value of pain now? Plenty.

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